This project supports Valley Water management of at least 300 acres of existing riparian planting projects and 200 acres of invasive plant removal projects throughout the five (5) watersheds. The project also funds maintenance of future riparian planting and invasive plant removal sites, which are anticipated as part of upcoming environmental mitigation requirements. Funding for this project ensures that all required riparian planting and invasive plant removal projects are maintained as functional habitat that can support wildlife. In addition, this project includes targeted control of especially damaging non-native, invasive plant species, such as Arundo donax, throughout the county.
Climate change has increased temperatures and lengthened growing seasons, which facilitates the spread of non-native invasive vegetation by allowing it to establish early in spring before native species, thus transforming ecosystems. Management of riparian planting and invasive plant removal helps prevent the spread of non-native species, making the natural habitat less vulnerable and more resilient to climate change. Furthermore, restoring habitats that are damaged during regular operations is an important component of sustainable stewardship to protect nearby natural areas. It helps improve native habitat.
*This project was voter approved as part of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.
See Environmental & Community Benefits section for complete description of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
KPI #1: (Maintain riparian planting projects)
- 277.41 acres of riparian planting projects maintained in FY23 through Q3 (July 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023).
KPI #2: (Maintain invasive plant management projects)
- 125.19 acres of invasive plant management projects were maintained in FY23 through Q3.
KPI #3: (Remove Arundo donax)
- 0.15 acre of Arundo donax removed in FY23 through Q3.
FY22-36 Key Performance Indicators for the Safe, Clean Water Program
- Maintain a minimum of 300 acres of riparian planting projects annually to meet regulatory requirements and conditions.
- Maintain a minimum of 200 acres of invasive plant management projects annually to meet regulatory requirements and conditions.
- Remove 25 acres of Arundo donax throughout the county over a 15-year period.
- Maintains 300 acres of existing riparian planting sites
- Maintains 200 acres of existing invasive plant management projects
- Allows Valley Water to monitor plant survival and habitat functions
- Complies with environmental laws, which require long-term habitat mitigation for routine stream maintenance, flood protection and water supply projects
- Provides for the maintenance of future riparian planting and invasive plant management sites
- Addresses climate change
Geographic Area of Benefit
About the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program
In November 2020, voters in Santa Clara County overwhelmingly approved Measure S, a renewal of Valley Water’s Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.
The program was first passed by voters in 2000 as the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan, then again in 2012 as the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program. The renewal of the Safe, Clean Water Program will continue to provide approximately $47 million annually for local projects that deliver safe, clean water, natural flood protection, and environmental stewardship to all the communities we serve in Santa Clara County.
While evaluating ways to improve the 2012 program, Valley Water gathered feedback from more than 21,000 community members. That helped Valley Water create the six priorities for the renewed Safe, Clean Water Program, which are:
Priority A: Ensure a Safe, Reliable Water Supply
Priority B: Reduce Toxins, Hazards and Contaminants in our Waterways
Priority C: Protect our Water Supply and Dams from Earthquakes and Other Natural Disasters
Priority D: Restore Wildlife Habitat and Provide Open Space
Priority E: Provide Flood Protection to Homes, Businesses, Schools, Streets and Highways
Priority F: Support Public Health and Public Safety for Our Community
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. Additionally, the IMC also reviews each proposed 5-year implementation plan prior to its submittal for Board approval.
In addition, the program requires three independent audits.
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.