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F4: Vegetation Management for Access and Fire Safety*

About This Project

This project supports Valley Water’s ongoing vegetation management activities that reduce fire risk by maintaining creekside lands. These activities also ensure access for maintenance and emergency personnel and equipment.

The project includes vegetation management activities such as weed abatement, goat grazing, herbicide application and pruning to provide access and reduce fire risk. Before carrying out maintenance, Valley Water’s personnel perform biological pre-construction surveys to minimize environmental impacts. Allocations for Project F4 also help fund future maintenance access of flood protection projects completed under the Safe, Clean Water Program.

Fire risk reduction will become a higher priority as the climate changes. This project will allow Valley Water to adapt to those changes.

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

Start FY 2022 / Finish FY 2036
Safe, Clean Water Fund ($12.0 million); Watershed 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

Valley Water completed 1825.81 acres of maintenance access work in all 5 watersheds in FY24 through Q3 (July 1, 2023 – March 31, 2024). Of this total acreage, 15% of the completed work in FY24 was funded by the Safe, Clean Water Program for a total of 273.87 acres. This acreage will go towards the annual target of 495 acres. The 15-year deliverable for the project is 7,245 acres. 

April 2024



Example vegetation management

Before management (Alamitos Creek Upstream of Mazzone Drive)

For more information:






After management  (Alamitos Creek Upstream of Mazzone Drive)
Environmental & Community Benefits

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

  1. Provide vegetation management for access and fire risk reduction on an average of 495 acres per year, totaling 7,425 acres along levee, property lines and maintenance roads over a 15-year period.


  • Provides safe access for maintenance of creek channels

  • Reduces fire risk along creek channels

  • Addresses climate change by preparing for increased fire risk through vegetation management

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.