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Valley Water Board Chair Tony Estremera statement on Gov. Newsom’s drought declaration for Santa Clara County

July 08, 2021
A dry section of Anderson Reservoir

Today’s action by Gov. Gavin Newsom to include Santa Clara County in the state’s drought emergency proclamation underscores the serious threats facing our region’s water supply.

I would like to thank Gov. Newsom for his leadership in making this declaration as our county contends with a water shortage emergency condition. The declaration by Gov. Newsom ensures that state agencies are empowered to facilitate critical water transfers and exchanges necessary to continue a reliable water supply for the 2 million people and thousands of Silicon Valley businesses in Santa Clara County.

On June 9, our Board declared a water shortage emergency condition, one of the strongest actions we can take. While we celebrated the groundbreaking of the Anderson Dam project this week, we know our largest drinking water reservoir will be out of service for 10 years. If the drought continues into next year, we could face the possibility there will not be enough water to meet basic demands without serious risk of subsidence in 2022.

Valley Water is doing everything we can to ensure we can provide safe, clean water to Santa Clara County. In addition to engaging with federal and state agencies, Valley Water is working with the County of Santa Clara, cities and water retailers to take additional measures to protect our water supplies and conserve this precious resource.

The proclamation by Gov. Newsom amplifies how important it is for all our communities to reduce their water use during this extreme drought. Many people reduced their water use significantly during the last drought. Valley Water thanks them for their conservation efforts and encourages everyone to keep up the good work. Valley Water offers robust conservation programs that can help our communities save water and money, including our Landscape Rebate Program. Community members who want to replace high-water using landscapes with drought-resilient ones can now receive an increased rebate. Learn about all our rebate programs, conservation tips and how to get free water-saving tools at

We can’t predict how long this drought will last. But Valley Water is taking every step possible now to protect our water supplies and groundwater basins for all our communities.

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.