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D5: Ecological Data Collection and Analysis*

About This Project

This project creates a comprehensive watershed database that tracks stream ecosystem conditions helping Valley Water, other County agencies and organizations make informed watershed and asset management decisions. This new information integrates and enhances Valley Water’s stewardship actions through a standardized, repeatable and defensible approach that guides, organizes and integrates information on stream conditions. This ecological monitoring and assessment is conducted on an ongoing basis and is shared with land use agencies, environmental resource groups, and the public to support efficient restoration decisions throughout the county.


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

biologist overlooking coyote ridge
On Target
Start FY 2014 / Finish 2028
Safe, Clean Water Fund ($9.0 million); Watershed and Stream Stewardship Fund
News and UpdatesNews and Updates
Reports and DocumentsReports and Documents
Environmental and Community BenefitsEnvironmental and Community Benefits
History and BackgroundHistory and Background
News & Updates

Key Performance Indicators for the Safe, Clean Water Program 

KPI #1: Establish new or track existing ecological levels of service for streams in 5 watersheds. 

  • Completing the first watershed assessments using the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) in partnership with the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI).Click here for the Watersheds of Santa Clara Valley  Click below to read:

  1. Coyote Creek (2010) including Upper Penitencia Creek 

  2. Guadalupe River (2012) urban and non-urban 

  3. Lower San Francisco Bay peninsula creeks in Santa Clara County (2016) including San Francisquito, Adobe, and Stevens-Permanente Creeks 

  4. Pajaro River in Santa Clara County (2015) including Pacheco, Llagas, and Uvas Creeks 

  5. West Valley Watershed: Field work is completed for Sunnyvale, San Tomas Aquino, Saratoga and Calabazas Creeks. 

  • Go to EcoAtlas to see all CRAM results, including the West Valley watershed and more for creeks and river reaches, tidal marshes (estuarine wetlands), and other locations. Create site reports that include CRAM results using EcoAtlas tools to identify ecosystem conditions at locations of interest.

KPI #2: Reassess streams in 5 watershed to determine if ecological levels of service are maintained or improved. 

  • KPI #2 will be initiated upon completion of KPI #1. 


Updated January 2019

For more information:

Reports & Documents

Related Information:

 Safe, Clean Water Program Documents



Comparison of watersheds based on probabilistic surveys of stream condition using CRAM. 



Environmental & Community Benefits

Key Performance Indicators for the Safe, Clean Water Program

  1. Establish new or track existing ecological levels of service for streams in 5 watersheds.

  2. Reassess streams in 5 watersheds to determine if ecological levels of service are maintained or improved.


  • Improves watershed and asset management decisions

  • Provides a systematic, scientific guide for decisions and actions to improve stream conditions

  • Supports effective design options for capital projects

  • Maximizes the impact of restoration dollars with more reliable data on countywide stream conditions

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.