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Water district board names Richard Santos as 2018 chair

Contact: Colleen Valles
Office: 408-630-2985
Media line: 408-681-9265

January 9, 2018


SAN JOSE—The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors has chosen long-time member Richard P. Santos to serve as the 2018 Chair of the Board.

The unanimous vote on Tuesday concludes Chair John L. Varela’s tenure and marks the third time Santos will have served in the position. A board member since 2000, he previously served as chair in 2005 and 2010 and as vice chair in 2004, 2009 and 2017.

Santos takes the helm at a time when the agency has $218.3 million in capital projects – out of a $501.2 million total budget – including flood protection projects along a variety of creeks throughout Santa Clara County, as well as the maintenance and repair of aging infrastructure, including the retrofit of Anderson Dam in its largest capital project ever.

In the past year, Santos has been a voice for emergency preparation, and a strong supporter of partnering with other government agencies and the community to accomplish common goals. He plans to continue this in the year ahead.

“I’m ready to get to work. We need to be ready for floods and other emergencies, but at the same time, we have to be prepared for drought,” he said. “We also need to continue working with our partners locally, at the state, and at the federal government level to ensure we have support for our projects to protect the people of Santa Clara County and our water supply.”

Santos, a retired firefighter and native of Alviso, is the director representing District 3, which includes Alviso, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Milpitas and Berryessa/Alum Rock.


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 nearly 1.9 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.