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E2: Emergency Response Planning*

About This Project

This project allows Valley Water to work with local municipalities to clearly identify roles and responsibilities for floodplain management and flood emergency management and increase awareness of the Valley Water's flood response procedures. The project supports countywide emergency response and preparedness activities, develops communication procedures and disseminates web-based flood forecasting information developed under Project C2, Emergency Response Upgrades. Collaborators also develop formal, site-specific flood response procedures or action plans (flood-fighting strategies), and coordinate outreach throughout the county so that the public receives uniform flood warning messages.

This project is comprised of 2 sub-projects that support the Valley Water's ongoing emergency response planning. Refer to Appendix B in the 5-Year Implementation Plan for project descriptions. These sub-projects are:

  • E2.1 Coordination with Local Municipalities on Flood Communication

  • E2.2 Flood-Fighting Action Plans


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

Emergency Response Planning
On Target
Start FY 2014 / Finish FY 2028
Safe, Clean Water Fund ($3.9 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

Key Performance Indicators for the Safe, Clean Water Program

KPI #1: Coordinate with agencies to incorporate Valley Water-endorsed flood emergency procedures into their Emergency Operations Center plans.

E2.1: Coordination with Local Municipalities on Flood Communication 

  • The draft of the updated SFC EAP was sent to the City of Palo Alto and the SFC MAC in June for their reference and as an opportunity to provide Valley Water input. It’s expected the final version will be ready before the annual Palo Alto table top exercise.
  • In Q3 FY19 (January – March 2019), the updated Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) for West Little Llagas and Uvas Creeks, both public versions (with redactions), were sent to Morgan Hill and the City of Gilroy for use as reference during heavy rainstorms or Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activations.

  • During the January and February 2019 rain storms, Valley Water’s EOC activations included close collaboration with the City of San Jose and adherence to the Joint EAP agreed upon and finalized in 2017 and updated in 2018. The updates, in general, reflect work being accomplished by the City of San Jose in working very close with Valley Water staff.

  • In October 2018, Valley Water hosted a Winter Emergency Operations and Preparedness Workshop with attendees from various cities and the county. The meeting comprised of presenters from the Valley Water's Office of Emergency Services (ESS),and Security Unit (ESS), along with representatives from Watershed Field Operations, Reservoir Operations, Public Information, Hydraulics/, Hydrology & Geomorphology, and Sandbag Programs. Presenters also included staff from the National Weather Service, Cal Fire, Department of Water Resources and the Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Services. The purpose of the meeting was to share information regarding the upcoming rainy season and the multiple agencies' activities that transpire during the winter season. The emphasis was on response, coordination and communication as a way to pro-actively and collaboratively prepare for potential flooding.

  • The annual coordination meeting with the Santa Clara County, led by the Valley Water's Dam Safety Program and ESS Unit took place at the November 15, 2018 Emergency Managers meeting. The presentation by Valley Water staff and the subsequent Q&A touched on the following subjects: notification charts, roles/responsibilities, inundation maps and the B, C and D condition levels for Anderson Dam, as reflected in its Emergency Action Plan.

  • On December 4, 2018, Valley Water ESS presented and participated in the annual San Francisquito Creek Multi-Agency Coordination meeting and table -top exercise at the City of Palo Alto community center. Topics covered in the multiple presentations were: PIO roles, agency coordination, Joint Information Centers, and national weather service.

KPI #2: Complete 5 flood-fighting action plans (1 per major watershed).

E2.2: Flood-Fighting Action Plans 

  • San Tomas Aquino Creek (West Valley Watershed) Staff is working on the planning that will include beginning the development of the San Tomas Aquino in Q2 FY2020.
  • West Little Llagas Creek Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and Uvas Creek EAP (Uvas/Llagas Watershed))
    In September 2018, Valley Water's Emerging Leaders Certification Program participants, with guidance and oversight from the Emergency Services & Security Unit, completed the development of flood response procedures, which included incorporating input from the cities of Morgan Hill (West Little Llagas Creek) and Gilroy (Uvas Creek).  

  • San Francisquito Creek EAP (Lower Peninsula watershed)
    This EAP was completed in FY17 and will be updated annually.on an ongoing basis.

  • Canoas Creek EAP (Guadalupe watershed)
    This EAP is now complete. It has been incorporated into the appendix within the Joint EAP with the City of San Jos
    é. In addition, flood response procedures for Ross and Canoas creeks are also complete and now appendices to the Joint EAP with the city. These additions were approved by the Valley Water CEO and San José’s City Manager.

Updated August 2019

For more information:

Reports & Documents

No current documents. 

Environmental & Community Benefits

Key Performance Indicators for the Safe, Clean Water Program

  1. Coordinate with agencies to incorporate Valley Water-endorsed flood emergency procedures into their Emergency Operations Center plans. 

  2. Complete 5 flood-fighting action plans (1 per major watershed). 


  • Reduces flood damage

  • Provides effective coordinated response to storm-related emergencies

  • Improves community awareness about flood risks

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.