Back to top

C2: Emergency Response Upgrades*

About This Project

This project covers the development of an automated flood warning system that uses real-time rainfall data to predict stream flows and potential flood risk. The system efficiently disseminates information to emergency responders and the public using the web, text, automated calls and other technologies, allowing more time to activate flood-fighting measures and reduce flood damage.


*This project was voter approved as part of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.

New Stream Gauge Sensor
On Target
Start FY 2014 / Finish FY 2023
Safe, Clean Water Fund ($3.4 million)
News and UpdatesNews and Updates
Reports and DocumentsReports and Documents
Environmental and Community BenefitsEnvironmental and Community Benefits
History and BackgroundHistory and Background
News & Updates

This past rainy season was another excellent year for testing the system. The modeling software is running better than the previous year as a result of additional adjustments made to optimize and improve simulation run time and efficiency to add more forecast predictions. The current system has 5 general locations: Upper Guadalupe River (which includes Ross Creek and Guadalupe River), West Little Llagas Creek, San Francisquito Creek, Uvas Creek, Upper Penitencia Creek. Additionally, reservoir inflows are included for many Valley Water facilities.

Forecast model parameters for both reservoir inflow and streams are being calibrated with the past several years of data to improve future accuracy. The first data feed from NOAA’s Advanced Quantitative Precipitation Information (AQPI) Project has been connected and is now running operationally in testing. NOAA is working on providing additional feeds, which will ultimately improve rainfall forecasting capabilities.

Updated February 2021

For more information:


Reports & Documents

No current documents. 

Environmental & Community Benefits

Key Performance Indicator for the Safe, Clean Water Program 

  1. Map, install, and maintain gauging stations and computer software on seven flood-prone reaches to generate and disseminate flood warnings. 


  • Enhances interagency response to storm-related emergencies

  • Improves the accuracy of flood forecasting services

  • Helps municipalities and neighborhoods lessen flood impacts

  • Maintains access to technical resources that assist municipalities with floodplain management

  • Promotes community awareness of flood risks

  • Implements risk reduction strategies consistent with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Community Rating System as appropriate

Geographic Area of Benefit 



History & Background

About the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program

In November 2012 the voters of Santa Clara County overwhelmingly approved Measure B, the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, as a countywide special parcel tax for 15 years with a sunset date of June 30, 2028. This Program replaced the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan, which voters approved in November 2000.

The Safe, Clean Water Program was developed with input from more than 16,000 residents and stakeholders and was created to match the community’s needs and values. The voters of Santa Clara County identified five priorities:

Priority A: Ensure a Safe, Reliable Water Supply

Priority B: Reduce Toxins, Hazards and Contaminants in our Waterways

Priority C: Protect our Water Supply from Earthquakes and Natural Disasters

Priority D: Restore Wildlife Habitat and Provide Open Space

Priority E: Provide Flood Protection to Homes, Businesses, Schools and Highways

Other: Six projects from the Clean, Safe, Creeks Plan have been carried forward into the Safe, Clean Water Program.  

Each year, Valley Water prepares a report providing a progress update for each of these Program priorities, along with fiscal year accomplishments.

To ensure transparency and accountability to the voters, the ballot measure also created an Independent Monitoring Committee, appointed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors. The  Independent Monitoring Committee annually reviews the Program’s progress to ensure the outcomes are achieved in a cost-efficient manner and reports its findings to the Board.

In addition, the Program requires three independent audits, the first of which was conducted in FY 2017.

View the Safe, Clean Water Program’s annual reports, annual IMC audit reports, and independent audits, including a staff response, on the Valley Water website.