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Valley Water Board Chair Pro Tem John L. Varela statement on Gov. Newsom’s Water Supply Strategy

August 11, 2022
Glass of water

I would like to thank Gov. Newsom for his leadership in addressing our state’s water supply as we contend with climate change and drier and hotter conditions. We are gratified by the Governor’s Water Supply Strategy which focuses on quickly expanding water conservation, capture, storage, conveyance, recycling, and desalination, and particularly acknowledges the need to streamline permitting and advance dam safety projects.

This is exactly what California needs to respond to our changing climate.

Valley Water is looking to expand its recycled water efforts through the Purified Water Project by building a second water purification center in Santa Clara County. This new potable reuse project will replenish groundwater basins that supply our region’s drinking water while also helping to prevent land subsidence.

Valley Water’s most critical water supply and public safety project is the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project. The dam safety program and permit streamlining included in the Governor’s plan may help Anderson be completed more quickly and cost-effectively.

We also are developing the Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project, which is partially funded by state Proposition 1 and could be accelerated under the Governor’s Water Supply Strategy. The Pacheco project would nearly double the amount of water we can store in above-ground reservoirs, helping to replace storage disappearing with the Sierra snowpack.

These projects are critical to ensuring a reliable water supply as we adapt to our rapidly changing climate.

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.