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Valley Water Board Chair Pro Tem John L. Varela statement on Gov. Newsom’s Executive Order to bolster conservation efforts

March 29, 2022
Snow melts into a creek that flows into the South Fork American River, near the site of the California Department of Water Resources second media snow survey of the 2022 season in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

We applaud Governor Gavin Newsom for calling on local water suppliers across California to take actions that reduce water use.

Santa Clara County and California experienced record dry conditions so far in 2022. We are in a third consecutive year of drought because of these dry conditions during what is typically the wettest time of year.

Last June, my fellow Board Members and I declared a water shortage emergency condition in Santa Clara County and called for a mandatory 15% reduction in water use compared to 2019. Water use was down by 8% between June 2021 and January 2022 when compared to 2019.

Thank you to everyone in Santa Clara County who has taken steps to reduce their water use. Every drop saved today is one available for tomorrow.

For those who can do more, one easy way to conserve is by reducing your outdoor watering. Valley Water also offers several rebates and programs to help reduce water use. Residents and businesses can take advantage of our robust conservation programs by visiting

I would like to thank Governor Newsom for his leadership in issuing this Executive Order and drawing statewide attention to the ongoing drought. His action amplifies how critical it is for all Californians to reduce their water use during this drought.

Photo: On March 1, 2022, snow melts into a creek that flows into the South Fork American River in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Photo courtesy of Ken James / California Department of Water Resources.

Valley Water manages an integrated water resources system that includes the supply of clean, safe water, flood protection and stewardship of streams on behalf of Santa Clara County's 2 million residents. The district effectively manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, nearly 285 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 294 miles of streams. We provide wholesale water and groundwater management services to local municipalities and private water retailers who deliver drinking water directly to homes and businesses in Santa Clara County.