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Valley Water Board Chair Pro Tem John L. Varela statement on the Voluntary Agreement announcement

April 01, 2022
The Sacramento San-Joaquin River Delta

As we enter our third year of drought and face the effects of climate change, we must continue to encourage sustainable management of California’s water resources while preserving our ecosystems.

The agreement announced earlier this week by state, federal and local water leaders is to move forward with developing a comprehensive, science-based solution for water management in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta watershed. This framework will lead to new flows to help recover native fish, create restored habitats for wildlife, and provide drinking water for 35 million Californians, including those in Santa Clara County.

Valley Water supports the progress being made towards the Voluntary Agreement as it outlines a holistic approach to reverse species decline, provides a significant amount of funding for environmental improvements, and creates a space for collaboration and science-based solutions to resolve conflicts over limited water supplies.

The increase in the severity of droughts, like the one we’re currently in, highlights the need to continue our investments in infrastructure and technology to help ensure there is enough safe, clean water for all our communities while protecting species and their habitat. One solution we must embrace is increasing our county’s use of recycled and purified water, a drought-proof and locally-controlled water source. This will reduce the dependency on imported water and help us fulfill our mission of providing safe, clean water to Santa Clara County.

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.