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An overview of Valley Water’s annual Capital Improvement Program

December 14, 2023
ADTP construction

Every year, Valley Water updates its plan for funding the agency’s critical infrastructure projects required to meet the needs of Santa Clara County.

The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Five-Year Plan is a comprehensive document that provides a roadmap for funding the planning, design and construction of water-related infrastructure.

In May 2023, the Board of Directors adopted the CIP Fiscal Year 2024-2028 Five-Year Plan, which included 63 projects to help Valley Water meet its mission to provide Silicon Valley with safe, clean water for a healthy life, environment, and economy. The CIP includes water supply, flood protection, water resources stewardship, buildings and grounds and information technology projects.

State law requires Valley Water to review and update the program annually. The CIP planning process starts in July with a request for managers to update their project plans with any scope, schedule or cost changes. It also includes the collection of information on proposed new capital projects. In identifying new projects for proposed inclusion, staff considers:

  • Repairing and replacing existing infrastructure and investments to ensure public health and safety
  • Remaining lifespan of existing infrastructure
  • Available funding
  • Urgency of investment

The Board has many opportunities each year to provide direction on projects included in the CIP. Staff uses Board guidance and direction to develop the draft and final Five-Year Plans.

Early in the process, staff presents the list of newly proposed projects to the Directors so they can provide feedback. On Jan. 9, 2024, Valley Water will hold a Board work-study session to review the CIP Preliminary Five-Year Plan and Preliminary Groundwater Production Charges to ensure the alignment with Board priorities.  

On Feb. 13, 2024, Valley Water staff will present the draft CIP Five-Year Plan to the Board of Directors for approval. Once approved, Valley Water releases the draft for a 60-day public review period. Valley Water also provides the draft document to agencies having land use authority within Valley Water boundaries, such as the County of Santa Clara and its cities. The County and cities review the draft Five-Year Plan for consistency with their general plans.

In April 2024, Valley Water will hold a public hearing and formally receive feedback from the public. The Board of Directors concludes its outreach with the closure of the public hearing in May 2024, when staff presents the final CIP Five-Year Plan and the budget to the Board of Directors for approval.

The Board of Directors utilizes a Capital Improvement Program Committee, comprised of three Board members, to provide a venue for more detailed discussions regarding capital project validation and adding or removing projects from the CIP.

The Board CIP Committee meets monthly to review and discuss information and provide input to staff related to the implementation of the CIP and development of the Five-Year Plan. The Committee provides recommendations on issues ranging from project implementation to resource utilization and funding sources or distribution.

The Committee’s recommendations are presented to the Board for direction on incorporation into the CIP Five-Year Plan document or implementation by staff.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the Board CIP committee meetings. Visit our Board Committees webpage to get more information on this meeting and future meetings.

Valley Water typically holds a public hearing during a Board meeting in April and will share details once the date is finalized.

To see last year’s final CIP, visit our dedicated webpage.

Photo credit: Water flowing down snow packed stream on the way to the fifth media snow survey of the 2023 season at the Devils Postpile Snow Survey site located in Madera County, California. Due to the deep snow pack the survey crew traveled to the destination through helicopter. Photo taken March 31, 2023. Kate Cohee / Office of the Governor

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.