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Valley Water Board Chair Tony Estremera statement on Santa Clara County classified as being in Extreme Drought

May 07, 2021
U.S. Drought Monitor map of California

The U.S. Drought Monitor’s latest map shows all of Santa Clara County as being in an extreme drought. This classification is just more proof of what we already know: Water supplies are once again being threatened in California due to dry conditions statewide.  

On April 27, 2021, my fellow Board members and I increased our call for a voluntary reduction in water use from 20% to 25%, compared to 2013. Since the 20% voluntary call was put into place in 2016, residents and businesses have risen to the challenge and met that goal. We thank the community for their efforts and offer many rebates and conservation programs, plus free water-efficient tools to help everyone increase their conservation efforts further.

On average, more than 50% of water use in the average home takes place outdoors. Replacing your lawn with a water-efficient landscape can reduce your usage significantly. Our Landscape Rebate Program can help make the change. You can find more information at

Residents can also conserve water indoors by detecting leaks and switching to efficient showerheads and aerators. Our new online shopping cart allows you to easily order free water-efficient tools and have them shipped for free to your Santa Clara County address. To get started, visit

We all know safe, clean water is crucial for our residents, economy, and environment. Valley Water has been preparing for drought by investing in technology and infrastructure, including the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project, upgrading and maintaining our pipelines and water treatment plants, and expanding the use of recycled and purified water.

We don’t know how long this drought will last, but we know we need to prepare for the future.

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.