How to request access to district public records
Send requests to:
- Public Records request form
- Email: [email protected]
- Phone: (408) 630-2360
- Mailing Address:
Attn: Public Records
Records Management Center
Santa Clara Valley Water District
5750 Almaden Expressway
San Jose, CA 95118
For general questions about district programs and services that do not require release of records, please use the Access Valley Water online form, write to [email protected], or call the district main number (408) 265-2600 so that a receptionist may assist you.
Many commonly requested documents and data sets are available on our Popular Documents and Data page.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of records can be requested?
Per the California Public Records Act, almost all district records are public records. District public records include hardcopy writings and reports, photos, sound, graphics, and engineering drawings.
Certain types of records may be exempt from disclosure including, but not limited to: trade secrets, proprietary software, certain preliminary drafts and memos, records concerning district litigation until the matter is resolved or settled, wells data, certain geological and geophysical data, vulnerability assessments, attorney-client communications, and materials relating to personal privacy.
When will I get a response?
We begin processing all requests promptly. However, because not all records are readily available on site, it often takes us a few days to gather and review requested material. Records must be reviewed for exemptions. We will send a response within 10 days to let you know whether the records requested will be available. In many cases, we are able to provide access to or copies of records within a day or two of the request. In unusual circumstances, we may require an additional 14 days to gather materials.
Where and when may records be inspected?
Please call us in advance to make an appointment to allow us enough time to identify and collect the requested documents. Records not exempt from disclosure will be open for public inspection during normal business hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday in the Records Management Center at the Blossom Hill Annex, 1020 Blossom Hill Road, San Jose, California.
Is there a fee?
If you request copies, there is a standard fee schedule to cover the direct costs of duplication. There is no fee to view records if copies are not requested. If applicable, fees are due prior to release of records. For small amounts of copying, we can make copies in house. For large copy jobs, we will recommend an outside copy vendor that will bill you directly. You may also bring in portable copying equipment, or request that we use your own vendor. If data needs to be extracted from an online system, there may be charges for programming costs.
Why does the District charge programming and extraction fees for production of email?
Per the California Public Records Act (GC 6253.9):
“. . . the requester shall bear the cost of producing a copy of the record, including the cost to construct a record, and the cost of programming and computer services necessary to produce a copy of the record when … the following applies: . . . (2) The request would require data compilation, extraction, or programming to produce the record.”
The District’s email system is attached to an electronic archive, into which go older emails and those with large attachments. Items that have been archived cannot be viewed outside the user’s account they are connected to until they have been extracted. We estimate that it generally takes ½ hour of active programming time per account, which results in a fee of $29 per account extracted.
In some very complex cases, fees may be greater. We will provide a detailed cost estimate on a case by case basis when a request is made, and assist requestors to understand their options to identify the most cost efficient method to meet their needs.
We do not charge for the time we spend searching or reviewing the emails, or redacting any confidential content. These processes happen separately after the extraction.
What information will I need to submit?
So that we can provide the best customer service, please provide:
- Enough detail to identify the documents you are requesting (dates, document types, subjects, etc.)
- Enough information for us to contact you regarding your request and to arrange the inspection, copying, and/or delivery of the materials. We ask that you provide your name, phone number, address and e-mail.