This project is a partnership with the California State Coastal Conservancy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and regional stakeholders to provide tidal flood protection, restore and enhance tidal marsh and related habitats, and provide recreational and public access opportunities. Initial construction for flood protection is planned for Economic Impact Area (EIA) 11, which is the urban area of North San José and the community of Alviso.
This project relies on federal participation from USACE to review and approve the plans. Without federal participation, the District cannot implement additional planning, design and construction due to limited available funding. The proposed Safe, Clean Water funding provides the District’s cost share to complete the planning study for EIAs 1-10, and provides a portion of the District’s cost share toward design and construction of flood protection improvements in the North San José area (EIA 11), in and near Alviso.
Photograph by Cris Benton.
Economic Impact Area 11
EIA 11 includes the urban area of North San José, the community of Alviso and the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility.
The District is working with the USACE and Coastal Conservancy (study partners) to prepare to begin construction of Reach 1 in 2019. Reach 1 extends from the Alviso Marina to the Union Pacific Railroad. Preparations include acquiring the necessary rights-of-way and fill material, as well as preparing for community outreach activities. On July 5, 2018 the USACE received $177M from the 2018 Disaster Supplemental Appropriations Bill to complete project design and begin construction. The local sponsors (District and Conservancy) total cost share of this amount is $103.4 M which will need to be reimbursed to the USACE in a timely manner.
Reach 1 Design and Permits:
90% levee design Plans and Specifications – Completed Dec. 2017
San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) permit for Reach 1 construction – Received Dec. 2017
San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) permit for Reach 1 construction – Received Jan. 2018
Reach 1 Construction:
District will begin stockpiling levee fill material in Pond A12 – Spring 2019
District anticipates full acquisition of all Reach 1 right of way by end of April 2019
USACE anticipates advertising for Reach 1 construction May 2019
USACE anticipates beginning construction in late 2019 or early 2020
Feasibility Phase: Completed on Dec. 18, 2015.
Environmental Documents: Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was certified by the District Board on March 22, 2016. The USACE and USFWS issued their Records of Decision for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in July 2016 and April 2017 respectively.
Funding: The USACE received $3 million to proceed into the Design Phase in 2016 and another $500,000 in 2017. The Water Resources Development Act of 2016, also known as the Water Infrastructure Improvement for the Nation Act, was signed by President Obama which authorized the Project for construction. USACE is now awaiting for the federal funds to support the construction phase (as noted above).
Design Phase: In July of 2016, the study partners signed a design agreement to begin the design phase. Design, permitting and construction is moving forward in phases beginning with Reach 1 which is from the Alviso Marina to the Union Pacific Railroad.
Economic Impact Areas 1-10
EIAs 1-10 includes the shoreline areas located between San Francisquito Creek and the Lower Guadalupe River and includes the communities of Palo Alto, Mountain View, NASA, Sunnyvale, San Jose, and Santa Clara. In November 2019, USACE received $500,000 to begin the next feasibility study phase.
- EIAs 1-10: District staff is meeting with key stakeholders in preparation to coordinate with the USACE to hold a workshop in early 2019 to explore a potential next feasibility study phase. Two communities have expressed interest in working with the USACE – Cities of Palo Alto and Sunnyvale.
EIAs 4 and 5: The District is coordinating with the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project (SBSPRP) team to construct the 1% coastal flood risk management levee in EIAs 4 and 5 (Mountain View EIAs). The planning is complete, and design is being finalized.
EIA 10: The District is working with the SBSPRP team to plan flood risk management efforts in EIA 10 (San José/Santa Clara and Pond A8 area)
District’s Preliminary Feasibility Study: Began in June 2015 and completed and finalized in March 2017. The preliminary study’s goal was to identify a preliminary 1% coastal flood risk management alignment with related benefits and costs for the EIAs 1-10 coastal area to aid in determining the District’s next study phase or phases and to identify potential study partnership opportunities. The preliminary alignment was identified and used to move forward with conducting the preliminary feasibility study analysis. The City of Palo Alto, City of Mountain View, City of Sunnyvale, City of San José, NASA Moffett Field, US Fish and Wildlife Service, State Coastal Conservancy and Mid-Peninsula Open Space Authority were all consulted in the identification of the preliminary alignment.
Updated January 2019
Project Fact Sheets
Economic Impact Area 11
The USACE Chief's Report is available to download from here.
The conformed Board agenda memo for the certification of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is available to download from here.
The Final Integrated Document consisting of the study’s Feasibility Report and combined EIR/EIS can downloaded from the following links:
Final Interim Feasibility Study with Environmental Impact Statement / Environmental Impact Report
Appendix B: Supporting Planning and Environmental
Economic Impact Areas 1-10
The Preliminary Feasibility Study for EIAs 1-10 can be downloaded from the following links:
Key Performance Indicators for the Safe, Clean Water Program
Provide portion of the local share of funding for planning and design phases for the former salt production ponds and Santa Clara County shoreline area.
Provide portion of the local share of funding toward estimated cost of initial project phase (EIA 11).
Protects more than 1,000 structures and 100 non-residential structures (EIA 11)
Provides planning and design to protect nearly 4,700 acres and more than 5,000 structures, including roads, highways, parks, airports and sewage treatment plants in all of Santa Clara County
Allows for the restoration of 2,900 acres of tidal marsh and related habitats (EIA 11)
Provides educational, recreational, and public access opportunities
Geographic Area of Benefit
Milpitas, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale
Flooding History and Project Background
This project stems from the 2003 acquisition of thousands of acres of former South Bay salt production ponds, purchased for restoration with combined public and private funding. The South Bay Shoreline Protection Project is an important component of the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project, a large, multi-agency effort to restore 16,500 acres of tidal wetlands which involves all South Bay cities that meet the San Francisco Bay. Without incorporating flood protection measures, proposed recreational use and environmental restoration is likely to reduce the effectiveness of existing shoreline levees formerly maintained for salt production. Project E7 would upgrade levees to protect Silicon Valley’s “Golden Triangle,” bounded by Highways 101, 237 and 880, and extending north into the Baylands of Milpitas. Multiple flood events since the mid-1990s have damaged business operations in this area, now home to major high-tech corporations including Intel, Google, Yahoo, Cisco, and others. The project would also protect Alviso neighborhoods, as well as important infrastructure such as airports and sewage treatment plants.
The existing multi-agency partnerships for the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration project and the San Francisco Bay Shoreline Study ensure that all goals for this largest wetland restoration on the West Coast will be incorporated. The Safe, Clean Water measure provides a share of the total funding needed for planning and design phases for the full shoreline project area. It also provides the funding needed to purchase lands, easements and rights-of-way as necessary to construct improvements in EIA 11, and a share of the construction costs for that portion of the project.
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, the District 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.