Alert 5/13/22 | 1:32 PM: Valley Water is sending text messages to Santa Clara County residents asking everyone to save water. Learn more
FYI 4/20/22 | 3:18 PM: Valley Water’s main buildings are now open to members of the public. Learn more
Keep Updated
Find events and articles on a wide range of topics
Stewardship header
Page Title
News & Events
Back to top

Cunningham Lake Flood Protection Project Completed

November 21, 2019
Cunningham Lake Project ribbon cutting

Thousands of homes and businesses now protected from a 100-year flood event


San Jose, CA. Nov. 20, 2019.- Valley Water Director John L. Varela, District 1, was joined by community members, elected officials, including San Jose Councilmember Sylvia Arenas, and project team members today to mark the completion of the Cunningham Flood Detention Facility Project, with a public ribbon-cutting ceremony at Lake Cunningham Regional Park.

“The Cunningham Flood Detention Facility Project is part of Valley Water’s commitment to keeping residents and businesses safe through its flood protection efforts, “said Director Varela, “this was an effort that had many hands and partners. I want to thank the City of San Jose, United States Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Water Resources for their roles in this project”.

This project is funded in part by Valley Water’s Watershed and Stream Stewardship Fund and by grants from the California Department of Water Resources and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

"This project helps thousands of families stay safe from the threat of flooding and the daily reality of high-cost flood insurance. Thousands of Evergreen and East Side families are safer and better off for this work," said San Jose Councilmember Sylvia Arenas.

Lake Cunningham Regional Park serves as a detention area by storing water within the park during a storm to help prevent flooding downstream of the area. To meet Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) certification requirements, an existing levee was raised by up to four feet along Capitol Expressway and Cunningham Avenue. A floodwall ranging from one to four feet high was constructed along Cunningham Avenue and Flint Creek.

These project improvements, in combination with the completed Lower Silver Creek Flood Protection Project improvements, will protect approximately 3,800 properties from a 100-year flood event.

For more information about the project, visit

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 277 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 275 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.