Valley Water Employees remain committed to Santa Clara County during public health crisis | Santa Clara Valley Water
Alert 5/15/20 | 8:26 AM: COVID-19: The water supply remains safe. Valley Water continues to perform essential work for the community LEARN MORE HERE
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Valley Water Employees remain committed to Santa Clara County during public health crisis

May 27, 2020
Janice Lum

As we work together to get through this global health crisis, Valley Water remains focused on continuing to deliver safe, clean water to our community, and protect residents and businesses from flooding.

The COVID-19 virus is not impacting the safety of your drinking water, or our ability to supply water in Santa Clara County.

Under the state and county’s shelter-in-place order, Valley Water is considered essential as an organization from a utility and public works perspective. Critical operations are continuing in support of our core mission of providing clean, safe water, essential infrastructure, water supply, flood protection projects and creek maintenance.

Like much of the Silicon Valley workforce, many of our Valley Water employees are teleworking during this crisis.

But countless others are continuing to work around the clock in our most critical and essential business operations, onsite or in the field, to make sure we maintain our commitment to the community to provide a reliable supply of safe, clean drinking water, and protection from flooding. Many workers are juggling responsibilities at home, including childcare challenges or caring for dependent family members, while continuing to serve their community.

As our local, state, national and global community continues to respond to COVID-19, we are going highlight some of the work that continues to be done by Valley Water employees to deliver safe, clean water.


Video conferencing and virtual presentations are the new normal for many Valley Water employees like Janice Lum. Lum is a management analyst in the Benefits and Wellness Program in the Office of Talent & Inclusion at Valley Water. A large part of her job involves teamwork and collaboration within Human Resources, one-to-one support and guidance for employees, and engagement of the Valley Water workforce as a whole. Valley Water is considered a critical and essential organization from a utility and public works perspective. Lum and her team continue to work during this public health crisis to help support and provide guidance to our Valley Water employees.

Valley Water put into place a teleworking policy shortly after the county’s shelter-in-place order. Lum and her team were able to quickly adapt to the new teleworking policy and transition from what was traditionally done in-person to online. One of her responsibilities is facilitating the new employee orientation and onboarding process. To virtually onboard new employees takes coordination and a collaborative effort, and Lum and her team successfully put together a plan to onboard their first batch of new hires at the end of March. They have been able to conduct all necessary onboarding and various communication efforts through email and video conferencing.

“Valley Water has a highly specialized, technical, and talented workforce, and I enjoy supporting our essential workers in staying healthy and engaged, enabling them to perform at their very best to execute the important mission of Valley Water,” Lum shared.

Lum joined the Benefits and Wellness Program team a year ago. “The Benefits and Wellness Program team is friendly, customer-focused, and responsive. I am proud to be part of our award-winning wellness program—we won Healthiest Employer of the Bay Area for the second year in a row in 2020 in our size category,” Lum said.

·       What are you doing to adapt to shelter-in-place? “A lot of Microsoft Team and Zoom video meetings, journaling, reading, gardening, using FaceTime to connect with friends and family. I bought a stationary exercise bike for home.”

·       Hobbies or interests? “Spending time in nature—the desert, the coast, the mountains, lakes, tropical places. I can’t wait to be able to enjoy these places again!”

·       Recent proud personal accomplishment: “During the shelter-in-place, I’ve been building a Zen garden in my backyard.”

·       Most interesting Valley Water experience or accomplishment: “I joined the Benefits and Wellness Program team one year ago and have the unique role of coordinating the ValleyWaterWELL wellness program. I enjoy knowing that I have a positive purpose within the larger mission of Valley Water.”

Learn more in our Essential Employee Spotlights series

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 400 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 275 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.