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Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project news update (March 2020)

March 04, 2020
Anderson Reservoir

Valley Water’s top priority is to complete the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project. Recently, the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) demanded Valley Water begin emptying Anderson Reservoir by Oct. 1, 2020.

Valley Water has safety, water supply and environmental concerns with complying with this demand, but we will work with FERC and other regulators during this process. Valley Water CEO Norma Camacho shared in a statement why this demand could result in unsafe consequences.

Valley Water has worked diligently through the years on the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project so it can safely withstand a large earthquake. The health and safety of our residents is a top priority. We created a video in 2019 that illustrates a worst-case-scenario that demonstrates exactly why Valley Water has made this project a top priority.

Valley Water has been working with state and federal lawmakers to help move this project forward. On Feb. 21, 2020, Assembly Member Robert Rivas introduced AB 3005, the Expedited Dam Safety for Silicon Valley Act. If passed, this will help move the project forward more quickly by helping Valley Water get expert construction, timely court decisions and faster permitting.

As far as the impact on water supply, this year we expect to meet Santa Clara County’s needs. We have a diverse water portfolio, including groundwater, surface water, imported water and recycled water. We will have to wait to see what Mother Nature will deliver, but if we were to have multiple dry years in a row, we already have contingency plans in place to lead us through any water shortages.

What can you do? Residents have always been our greatest advocates. We will continue to keep you informed with the latest updates on our project page. The Valley Water Board of Directors is also holding a special meeting at 2 p.m. on March 18, 2020, in the boardroom at Valley Water Headquarters to discuss the latest on the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project. We will also live stream the meeting on our website.

Fixing Anderson Dam is our top priority. What is your top priority for Safe, Clean Water? Tell us here.

Together we can move forward with Valley Water’s mission to provide safe, clean water, a healthy environment and flood protection in Santa Clara County. 

Valley Water 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 2 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 285 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 294 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.