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Santa Clara Valley Water District statement from Board chairman and CEO regarding emergency drought legislative proposal

Contact: Teresa Alvarado
Office: 408-630-3081
Mobile: 408-599-4782

Date: February 19, 2014

In light of Governor Brown, Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez’ emergency drought legislation announcement, Tony Estremera, chair of the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors, and Beau Goldie, chief executive officer for the district, issued the following statements.

Tony Estremera, chairman, Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors:
Governor Brown, Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez are taking the bold and necessary steps to provide the support for communities throughout the state to become better prepared for devastating droughts.

Many of the proposals included in this plan are ones that the water district’s board has championed for years. We know that conservation has become a way of life for many Californians. The current drought reminds all of the unpredictable nature of our precious water resources and that we must invest in our water sustainability.

I applaud the specific actions that are intended to assist disproportionately impacted Californians, particularly those farmworkers whose livelihoods are being severely affected by this drought.

Last month’s drought declaration and this legislative proposal will build public awareness that we all need to do what we can to save water.

Beau Goldie, chief executive officer, Santa Clara Valley Water District:
The emergency legislation called for by our state’s leaders further draws attention to the critical issues of water resources management faced by Santa Clara County.

Over the years, district staff have worked through droughts and have applied their expertise to the development of the district’s 2010 Urban Water Management Plan, available at http://www.valleywater.org/Services/UWMP2010.aspx, which focuses on enhancing water conservation and improving water supplies to ensure we have a sustainable and reliable supply of water to support Silicon Valley’s future growth.

In Santa Clara County, we are working on increasing water reliability by investing in four critical areas: promoting greater water use efficiency, developing new supplies of recycled water and investigating additional uses for recycled water, funding the rehabilitation and modernization of our water supply infrastructure, and aggressively protecting the quality of our existing water supplies such as our groundwater basin.

Like the state, the water district is taking a comprehensive approach to long-term water resources management. The state’s support for water infrastructure investments is critical to our ability to meet our aggressive conservation and infrastructure investment goals.

However, now there is an immediate need for conservation; we have expanded our conservation marketing and outreach to drive home the message that it’s time, now, to save water.

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The Santa Clara Valley Water District 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 1.8 million residents. The district effectively manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, 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 throughout Santa Clara County.