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Valley Water Board Chair Tony Estremera statement on County of Santa Clara’s proclamation of a local drought emergency

June 22, 2021
Photo of Anderson Dam with lowered reservoir levels

Today’s decision by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to ratify the Proclamation of a Local Emergency issued by the County Director of Emergency Services underscores the seriousness of the threats posed by the extreme drought.

I would like to thank Board President Mike Wasserman for his leadership and extend my gratitude to his colleagues on the Board of Supervisors for taking immediate action as we face this water shortage emergency. I would also like to thank the Office of the County Executive and the Director of Emergency Management Services for taking decisive action following the Valley Water Board's declaration of a Water Shortage Emergency Condition.

Our water supplies are in jeopardy. Together, the actions taken by Valley Water and Santa Clara County acknowledge the water emergency facing our county and position us well to take additional measures to protect our water supplies and work with retailers and our community to conserve this precious resource.

Valley Water is doing everything we can to ensure we can provide safe, clean water to Santa Clara County. 

The resolution by the County Board of Supervisors echoes the call by Valley Water for all our communities to reduce their water use during this extreme drought. Valley Water offers robust conservation programs that can help our communities save water and money, including our Landscape Rebate Program. And beginning July 1, community members who want to replace high-water using landscapes with drought-resilient ones can receive an increased rebate. Learn about all our rebate programs, conservation tips and how to get free water-saving tools at

To help us achieve our mission of providing safe, clean water to all or communities, we urge Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a drought emergency in Santa Clara County. This action is needed to help Valley Water be better positioned to receive an emergency supply of imported water to address our county’s public health and safety needs. These emergency water supplies are critical in helping us prevent overdraft of our groundwater basins, dry domestic wells, and subsidence.

Will we see another dry winter? We don’t know. But Valley Water and the County of Santa Clara are taking decisive actions now to protect our water supplies and groundwater basins.

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.