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F2: Emergency Response Planning and Preparedness*

About This Project

This project enables Valley Water to work with local municipalities to clearly delineate and communicate roles and responsibilities for floodplain management and flood emergency management. The resulting plans will also strengthen response capabilities for mutual assistance during other types of public health and safety emergencies or natural disasters. The project supports Valley Water’s countywide emergency response, preparedness and mitigation activities, develops communication processes and disseminates web-based flood forecasting information developed under Project F7: Emergency Response Upgrades. Valley Water will also assist collaborating agencies in developing formal, site-specific flood-fighting strategies and will coordinate outreach throughout the county so that the public receives uniform warning messages during a flood emergency.


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

Emergency Response Planning
On Target
Start FY 2022 / Finish FY 2036
Safe, Clean Water Fund ($7.2 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

See Environmental & Community Benefits section for complete description of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

KPI #1: (Coordinate with local municipalities)

  • In March 2022, Valley Water completed its annual collaboration with the City of San José (City) to exercise an element of the Joint Emergency Action Plan. The plan is being updated as needed and will be routed for signatures by the City general manager and Valley Water’s CEO.
  • Valley Water continues to attend the monthly Santa Clara County Emergency Managers meetings, where staff engages with Emergency Managers from local municipalities and shares Valley Water’s current work activities, particularly those involving collaboration with local agencies.

KPI#2: (Flood Management Plans)

KPI #3: (Drills and exercises)

  • In August 2022, Valley Water commenced planning for a training session for the Guadalupe Flood Barrier deployment. This activity stems from the findings in the After Action Plan from the FY22 Table Top exercise for Anderson Dam. Valley Water is contacting several of the downstream agencies for engagement. Valley Transportation Authority will be engaged since Valley Water will likely need to access VTA property after meeting some requirements that are being determined.
  • On February 10, 2022, Valley Water facilitated the Joint Emergency Action Plan - Guadalupe River Flood Barrier tabletop exercise. The flood barrier in-house procedure and the JEAP Guadalupe appendix were exercised, and the lessons learned were captured in the After Action Plan. There was also a debrief meeting for the After Action Plan.

KPI #4: (Effectiveness)

  • The Guadalupe River Flood Barrier tabletop exercise held on February 10, 2022 (see KPI #3) also served as a test of the Joint Emergency Action Plan.
  • The Anderson Dam FERC Functional Exercise held on September 16, 2021 was also validation of the effectiveness of the Anderson Dam EAP. FERC requires all agencies with power-producing dams, such as Anderson Dam, to conduct a functional exercise every five years to test and validate the dam's EAP. Opportunities for improvement were identified in the method of notification to the downstream agencies when a dam emergency occurs. 

October 2022

For more information:

Reports & Documents

No current documents. 

Environmental & Community Benefits

FY22-36 Key Performance Indicator for the Safe, Clean Water Program

  1. Coordinate with local municipalities to merge Valley Water-endorsed flood emergency processes with their own emergency response plans and processes.

  2. Complete five (5) flood management plans/procedures per 5-year period, selected by risk priorities.

  3. Train Valley Water staff and partner municipalities annually on disaster procedures via drills and exercises before testing the plans and procedures.

  4. Test flood management plans/procedures annually to ensure effectiveness.


  • Reduces flood damage

  • Improves flood preparedness

  • Provides effective coordinated response to disaster-related emergencies

  • Improves community awareness about disaster-related risks

Geographic Area of Benefit



    History & Background

    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.