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Taking Care of Streams

Below are some examples of how the Santa Clara Valley Water District has taken on the role of steward of our local watersheds:

  •  Stream Maintenance Program: To preserve their flood protecting characteristics, the water district must continue to maintain streams without jeopardizing the long-term health of stream ecosystems. Policies and practices are in place to assure that these routine maintenance activities protect water quality, fish and other wildlife.

  • Creekwise Property Owners: A healthy stream is an irreplaceable natural resource and a wonderful amenity that can bolster a property's value. Make the most of your location next to a creek by helping to keep it healthy. Through proper care of stream banks and riparian vegetation, you can enhance your property, prevent erosion problems, avoid flood losses, preserve water quality, and contribute to the survival of fish and wildlife.

    Working together as members of the Water Resources Protection Collaborative, representatives from the water district, cities, the county and business, agriculture, streamside property owner and environmental interests  created a  manual of model guidelines and standards for land-use near streams.  This manual can help creekside property owners large and small to make the right decisions in caring for their property.

  • Years ago, providing greater flood protection often resulted in straight, concrete channels where natural creeks once meandered. A growing environmental ethic has changed all that. Nowadays, the water district works to protect homes and businesses from flooding while protecting the natural creek habitat.

  • Preventing pollution to our creeks and Bay is a major undertaking in a county with 1.7 million residents. The water district is attacking the problem on a number of fronts.

    • The water district participates in the Creek Connections Action Group, a coalition of local agencies that coordinates two creek cleanups a year in Santa Clara County: National River Cleanup Day in May and Coastal Cleanup Day in September.

    • Urban runoff contributes to our water quality. The water district participates in the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program to help prevent it.

    • The Silicon Valley Pollution Prevention Center is another partner with the district in the effort to educate and encourage county residents to prevent pollution from reaching our creeks and rivers.

  • A number of endangered and threatened species live in and along our local streams. Removing barriers to fish migration is just one way the water district has restored fish habitat.