Water district approves budget, capital improvement plan, water rates | Santa Clara Valley Water
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Water district approves budget, capital improvement plan, water rates

May 10, 2017

SAN JOSE—The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors unanimously approved the $501.2 million Fiscal Year 2017-2018 budget and the 5-year Capital Improvement Plan at their regular meeting Tuesday. To help pay for the water supply projects included in the CIP, they also approved water rate increases of 9.6 percent for most of the county and 6.4 percent for the portion of the county south of San Jose.

This year, the board asked staff to focus the budget on its 11 priorities, newly set for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. In no particular order, these priorities are:

  1. Make key decisions regarding the California WaterFix
  2. Prioritize the care of water district facilities and assets
  3. Advance the water district’s interest in countywide stormwater resource planning
  4. Provide for a watershed-wide regulatory planning and permitting effort
  5. Foster a coordinated approach to environmental stewardship efforts
  6. Advance the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project
  7. Advance recycled and purified water efforts with San José and other agencies
  8. Finalize the Fisheries and Aquatic Habitat Collaborative Effort (FAHCE)
  9. Actively pursue efforts to increase water storage opportunities
  10. Advance diversity and inclusion efforts
  11. Ensure immediate emergency action plans and flood protection are provided for Coyote Creek

“The water district faces a number of challenges and uncertainties, including maintaining and updating aging infrastructure, ensuring we receive the federal and state funding that we are anticipating, obtaining regulatory permits in a timely fashion, and continuing our good work while expecting much of our workforce to retire,” said Board Chair John Varela. “This budget is in line with the board’s priorities and tackles these issues. This gives me confidence that we can make good headway in these areas.”

In addition to the budget, the board adopted the FY 2018-2022 CIP. This document is a rolling plan that describes capital investments planned for the next five fiscal years. The first year of the FY 2018-2022 CIP informs the FY 2018 capital budget and allows the water district to plan expenditures for the upcoming years.

The FY 2018-2022 CIP includes 66 projects with proposed funding of $197 million in FY 2018. These projects include 30 water supply projects from water treatment plant upgrades to seismic retrofitting of dams to pipeline rehabilitation and investments in the Recycled and Purified Water program. They also include 17 flood protection projects along Upper Guadalupe River, Coyote Watershed, San Francisquito Creek, Upper and Lower Llagas Creek and Sunnyvale East/West Channels. Water resources stewardship makes up nine projects from environmental enhancement to mitigation to feasibility studies.

The proposed budget and CIP support the board’s priorities in addressing flood protection along Coyote Creek. Work includes development of a Joint Emergency Action Plan with City of San José, completing a feasibility study to identify alternatives for flood protection of the Rock Springs area adjacent to Coyote Creek, and updating the Coyote Creek Planning Study. The planning effort includes an evaluation of immediate and long-term flood risk reduction measures with a goal to begin implementing some in the 2017-2018 winter season.

The board also approved increases to the groundwater production charges, or water rates, to help address several of the 11 budget priorities and fund water supply activities, programs and services, such as operating and maintaining local reservoirs, purchasing water from outside the county to replenish our groundwater basins, monitoring and protecting groundwater from pollutants and salt water, planning and building improvements to infrastructure such as dams, pipelines and treatment plants, and more.

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 400 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.