This project is to enable Valley Water scientists to update custom software models of local creeks for the most current and accurate understanding of potential flood risks in high priority flood-prone areas and then develop options for managing those risks. Existing models will be verified, updated and recalibrated as conditions change. Updating our knowledge-base will lead to more effective creek management and maintenance. Valley Water will also convey this information to the community and partner cities.
When creek conditions necessitate rehabilitation to preserve flood protection, this project also funds preliminary engineering studies to isolate problem areas and explore potential solutions.
Revising flood models on a regular basis enables Valley Water to keep pace with changes in rainfall patterns and intensity as our climate changes. An up-to-date understanding of flood risks allows us to work toward preventing future flooding.
Preliminary 100 Year Floodplain Maps
Preliminary 10 Year Floodplain Maps
FY22-36 Key Performance Indicator for the Safe, Clean Water Program
Complete engineering studies on three (3) creek reaches to address 1% (100-year) flood risk.
Annually, update floodplain maps on a minimum of three (3) creek reaches in accordance with new FEMA standards.
Provides more current and accurate mapping of areas at risk of flooding
Provides the technical basis for developing future flood protection plans, and for potential funding partnerships
Identifies, in a timely manner, the needs to prevent creek deterioration
Identifies the need for flood mitigation or creek rehabilitation projects
Facilitates communication with partner cities on evolving flood risks and possible solutions
Addresses climate change
Geographic Area of Benefit
Engineering studies history and project background
Under the 2012 Safe, Clean Water Program, Valley Water completed engineering studies on five (5) reaches of creeks as part of the Flood Risk Assessment Studies project. These were on Coyote Creek (Bay to Anderson Dam, including Rock Springs Neighborhood); Adobe and Barron creeks tidal flood protection (Highway 101 to Middlefield Road in Palo Alto); Alamitos Creek (upstream of Almaden Lake in San José); and Ross Creek (Guadalupe River to Blossom Hill Road in San José). The Coyote Creek study completed under this project was utilized to develop the short-term interim projects that Valley Water built to help reduce the risk of flooding along Coyote Creek (See Project E1 - Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project). These include the installation of an interim floodwall and embankment along the creek to protect the Rock Springs community from a flood event equivalent to the February 2017 flood. Valley Water also updated the Alamitos Creek 2-D hydraulic (HEC-RAS) model of the 1% (100-year event) floodplain and shared the information with the City of San José.
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.