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Valley Water statement on March snowpack survey

March 02, 2021
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Today’s snowpack survey in the Sierra Nevada Mountains showed only 61% of normal for this time of year for the state of California. This has a great impact on the water supply for millions of people across California and here in Santa Clara County.   

“Climate change is bringing more severe droughts to our region, and the next drought is already on our doorstep,” said Tony Estremera, Chair of the Valley Water Board of Directors. “That’s why it’s vital Valley Water prepares by making smart investments in our infrastructure to ensure we are always able to provide Santa Clara County with a reliable supply of safe, clean water.”

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered Valley Water to drain Anderson Reservoir to 3% of capacity while we begin work to strengthen Anderson Dam and increase our storage capacity. That means Valley Water will have to rely more on imported water over the next ten years during construction at Anderson Dam.

Approximately 50% of water used in Santa Clara County is imported from the Delta watershed, which includes runoff from the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains. During drought, water prices can soar because it is sold on the open market.


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.