Information & Guidance
Providing general information for the needs of contractors, businesses and agriculture
District business
Page Title
Do Business With Us
Back to top

Permits for Working on Valley Water Land or Easement


The Santa Clara Valley Water District (Valley Water) manages 10 dams and reservoirs, three water treatment plants, three pump stations, 108 miles of levees, 140 miles of water transmission pipelines, 278 miles of stream channels, and 393 acres of groundwater recharge facilities.

To protect these resources, Valley Water passed ordinances requiring permits for:

  • Any projects or activities on district-owned land and/or on Valley Water easement
  • Any activities that may impact Valley Water facilities
  • Work relating to wells 

Learn more about the Water Resources Protection Ordinance (WRPO)

Encroachment Permits

Encroachment permits are required for any work that takes place on or near Valley Water land, easement, or facility. 

To protect these assets, the Community Projects Review Unit administers the Water Resources Protection Ordinance using the Water Resources Protection Manual, provides cost sharing for good neighbor fencing, facilitates land use transactions and joint use agreements, and offers technical assistance to other agencies on how to apply the Guidelines and Standards for Land Use Near Streams.

Apply for an Encroachment Permit or Apply to amend or extend an existing permit

Learn more about or apply for Good Neighbor fence cost sharing

To contact the Community Projects Review Unit, call us at (408) 630-2650 or email us at [email protected]

All correspondence and packages related to permitting should be sent to the appropriate mailing addresses below:

USPS mailing address
Community Projects Review Unit
Santa Clara Valley Water District
5750 Almaden Expy
San Jose, CA 95118-3686

Express mailing address
Community Projects Review Unit
Santa Clara Valley Water District
Winfield Warehouse
5905 Winfield Blvd.
San Jose, CA 95123-2428

How do I know what land Valley Water owns?

Please check our interactive web map to get a better understanding of Valley Water's land ownership relative to your work area.  Valley Water-owned property is shown in green, while Valley Water easements are shown in yellow. 

If you have any questions about your property line, your deed or the County’s Assessor’s Office can provide guidance: – Enter your address in “Property Record Search” then click “Print Assessor’s Parcel Map”

Do I need a permit?


According to the Water Resources Protection Ordinance (WRPO), permits must be obtained for projects or activities that:

  • Occur on Valley Water fee title property
  • Are within Valley Water easements, or
  • For any activities that may impact Valley Water facilities.

When in doubt, please apply for a permit.  If it is determined that a permit is not necessary, you will not be charged the application fee.

Which permit application should I fill out?

- If you are:

  • Performing soil boring
  • Installing utilities
  • Grading
  • Building a fence near a Valley Water facility
  • Removing or trimming a tree
  • Constructing or repairing an outfall
  • Constructing or repairing a bridge
  • Landscaping
  • Building a trail
  • Repairing erosion
  • Would like vehicular or pedestrian access onto Valley Water property, or
  • Would like to request specific real estate services such as land exchanges, sales and/or dedications

     Please fill out the Encroachment Permit Application/Request for Real Estate Services form.

- If you would like to change the scope of work or the completion deadline for an existing permit, please fill out the Encroachment Permit Amendment/Extension Application form.

- If you are constructing or replacing a fence along a property line that you share with Valley Water and would like to request cost sharing, please fill out the Application for Cost Sharing of Good Neighbor Fencing form. 

- If you would like to clean up litter as part of Valley Water’s Adopt-A-Creek program, please click here. 

- If you would like to install, repair or destroy a well, or if your project requires boring to a depth of 45 feet or greater please click here. 

How much will a Valley Water permit cost?

The charges will vary based on the nature of the project.  Please click here to see our breakdown of standard costs.

Encroachment Permits

Please allow at least 6 to 8 weeks for initial review of all permit requests. Review times will vary depending on the complexity of the project and available Valley Water staff resources.

If the application is incomplete or requires clarification, Valley Water staff will notify the Applicant to obtain the additional information necessary to process your application. If additional information or revisions are required, it may result in additional review time.

Click here to view a flowchart of the permitting process with approximate processing times.