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F9: Grants and Partnerships for Safe, Clean Water, Flood Protection and Environmental Stewardship*

About This Project

This project provides grants and partnerships for agencies, organizations and individuals for water conservation, pollution prevention, creek cleanups and education, wildlife habitat restoration and wildlife corridors and crossings, and access to trails and open space. Eligible projects include water conservation; recycled water programs and infrastructure; pollution prevention programs; watershed stewardship; creek cleanups; education; and developing plans and/or implementing projects that create or enhance wetland, riparian and tidal marsh habitat; protect special status species; improve fish passage and habitat; remove non-native, invasive plant species; plant native species; partnerships to remove flood-inducing blockages, and provide access to creekside trails or trails that provide a significant link to the creekside trail network.

 

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

Datapoints
Status
Active
Location
Countywide
Schedule
Start FY 2022 / Finish FY 2036
Funding
Safe, Clean Water Fund ($53 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

The renewal of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program (Safe, Clean Water Program) in November 2020 consolidated and expanded funding opportunities under a newly created Priority F: Support Public Health and Public Safety for Our Community. While the funding for community grants and partnerships was renewed from the previous 2012 Safe, Clean Water Program (2012 Program), the renewed Program incorporates new elements that broaden criteria and applicant eligibility.

The renewed Safe, Clean Water Program began in FY22 (July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022) and is still in transition, which is a hybrid approach of the 2012 Program and the renewed Safe, Clean Water Program. Grants administration staff is working with a consultant to redesign the grants and partnerships program with the new elements in the renewed Safe, Clean Water Program, the recommendations from the 2021 Grants Management Performance Audit, and the 2021 and 2022 Grantee Survey feedback.

KPI #1: Provide a grant and partnership cycle each year for projects related to safe, clean drinking water, flood protection and environmental stewardship.

Last year’s standard grant cycle launched in January 2023 with $1.4 million in available funding and closed in March 2023. On June 13, 2023, the Valley Water Board of Directors approved $1,177,961 for eight projects.

Standard grant applications will remain closed until the next grant cycle. In FY24, one new partnership agreement was awarded.

In addition, the Safe, Clean Water Grants Program will continue to undergo a redesign in FY24 to streamline the application and review process and incorporate best management practices to improve the program.

Visit valleywater.org/standardgrants to learn more about the standard grant funding opportunity.

For a cumulative list of standard grants awarded from FY22 to present, please visit: tinyurl.com/SCWgrants

Visit valleywater.org/grants for more information about grant opportunities available. 

For a cumulative list of standard grants and partnerships awarded prior to FY22, please visit: tinyurl.com/SCWgrants2012.

KPI #2: Provide annual funding for bottle filling stations to increase drinking water accessibility, with priority for installations in economically disadvantaged communities and locations that serve school-age children and students.

In FY24, Valley Water continued the water bottle filling station (Refill Station) grant funding opportunity, which includes increased funding and expanded applicant eligibility, with priority in economically disadvantaged communities and locations that serve school-age children and students. $100,000 is available year-round on a rolling basis for up to $5,000 per station.

As of December 2023, $35,000 in Safe, Clean Water refill station grant funding was awarded for seven (7) new water bottle refill station projects to a total of seven (7) separate grantees.

Visit valleywater.org/refillstation for bottle filling station criteria, applicant eligibility, and application information.

KPI #3: Provide annual mini-grant funding opportunity for projects related to safe, clean drinking water, flood protection and environmental stewardship.

In FY24, Valley Water continued the mini-grants program with dedicated annual funding, broader eligibility, and a streamlined application process. $100,000 is available year-round on a rolling basis for projects up to $5,000 each.

As of December 2023, $25,000 in Safe, Clean Water mini-grant funds have been awarded in FY24 for five (5) new mini-grant projects to a total of four (4) separate grantees.

Visit valleywater.org/minigrants for mini-grant project criteria, applicant eligibility and application information.

For a list of mini-grants awarded in FY23, please visit tinyurl.com/SCWgrants.

For a cumulative list of mini-grants awarded prior to FY22, please visit: tinyurl.com/SCWgrants2012.

KPI #4: Provide up to $3 million per 15-year period for partnerships with small municipalities (defined as under 50,000 people in the most recent census available), or special districts with boundaries substantially within the footprint of small cities, for projects aligned with the District Act and related to safe, clean drinking water, flood protection and environmental stewardship.

This partnership funding opportunity is available year-round. As of December 2023, no partnership agreements have been awarded in FY24.

Valley Water continues to engage with small municipalities and special districts serving small municipalities on potential partnership projects. For more information, contact [email protected].

Please visit valleywater.org/grants for more details.  

 

January 2024

For more information:

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Environmental & Community Benefits

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

  1. Provide a grant and partnership cycle each year for projects related to safe, clean drinking water, flood protection and environmental stewardship.

  2. Provide annual funding for bottle filling stations to increase drinking water accessibility, with priority for installations in economically disadvantaged communities and locations that serve school-age children and students.

  3. Provide annual mini-grant funding opportunity for projects related to safe, clean drinking water, flood protection and environmental stewardship.

  4. Provide up to $3 million per 15-year period for partnerships with small municipalities (defined as under 50,000 people in the most recent census available), or special districts with boundaries substantially within the footprint of small cities, for projects aligned with the District Act and related to safe, clean drinking water, flood protection and environmental stewardship.

Benefits

  • Leverages community resources for efficient use of funds to implement projects that conserve water, prevent trash and contaminants from entering our waterways and groundwater, enhance creek and bay ecosystems, and expand trail and open space access

  • Increases collaborations and partnerships with cities, the County, nonprofit organizations, schools and other stakeholders

  • Promotes public involvement, awareness and education of safe, clean drinking water, flood protection and environmental stewardship through community-led projects

  • Broadens opportunities for smaller jurisdictions

Geographic Area Benefit

Countywide 

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.