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Statement on Behalf of Santa Clara Valley Water District to San Jose City Council on March 9, 2017

Delivered by Rick L. Callender, Deputy Administrative Officer, Offices of Government Relations and Communications

Mr. Mayor, honorable members of the San Jose City Council--

Thank you for inviting the District to briefly share its thoughts on the tragic flooding that occurred during the Presidents Day Flood.

First and foremost, the Santa Clara Valley Water District is deeply saddened at the devastation in our community.

Our hearts go out to those impacted by the recent flooding. We want the entire community--and everyone impacted--to know that we will do everything in our power to work with government at the federal and state levels, as well as the San Jose City Council, to determine what improvements can be made to reduce the risk of the type of flooding experienced by our community and residents.

We appreciate the Council's efforts to better understand and evaluate exactly what happened in the days leading up to, during, and following the flooding, and to explore how to effectively coordinate with the Santa Clara Valley Water District during future emergencies. Further, we appreciate your willingness to support the District’s efforts to pursue and obtain federal funding for flood protection.

Identifying issues is an essential step toward implementing solutions that will reduce risks to our community in the future. As we listen today, we are taking a positive step toward near- and long-term solutions.
The water district plans to hold community meetings in April, close to the communities which were impacted by the flooding, which our mutual impacted constituents will have the opportunity to meet with the District and ask questions about what occurred and the path forward. We hope, and will be inviting, the City of San Jose to participate as a co-host of those meetings.

Thank you for holding this hearing and for allowing the water district to be a part of it. I would like to present a letter from John L. Varela, the Chair of our Board of Directors that addresses some key, important information, requested by the City, including:

  • Stream Channel Maintenance Questions and Informational Responses
  • Flood control along Coyote Creek Questions and Informational Responses
  • The status and funding of a retaining wall to protect the Rock Springs neighborhood
  • The status and funding of Coyote Creek Flood Protection projects approved by the voters in November 2000 in the Water District's Clean, Safe Creeks Program
  • The Operation of Anderson Reservoir Over the Period January through February 2017

Again, thank you for asking for our input. We look forward to working closely with this Council, Mayor and city staff for the benefit of our mutual constituents.