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E2: Emergency Response Planning*

About This Project

This project allows the District to work with local municipalities to clearly identify roles and responsibilities for floodplain management and flood emergency management. 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-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 District’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 ($3.8 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 District-endorsed flood emergency procedures into their Emergency Operations Center plans.

E2.1: Coordination with Local Municipalities on Flood Communication 

  • In May 2018, the District met with the City of Palo OES to discuss general emergency preparedness and response roles for each agency.

  • In January 2017, the District attended an Emergency Management meeting hosted by the County OES, where January storms, operational area coordination and recovery were the key focus. Staff continues to build bridges with the emergency management community by attending these kinds of meetings where emergency management first responders attend and share what is being developed in terms of emergency response, planning (e.g. emergency action plans), recovery and mitigation.

  • In May 2017, the District hosted a Community Rating Service (CRS) meeting that offered attendees an opportunity to engage with the District on the topic of response to flooding events and pre-flood planning. During the meeting, the District engaged with the cities of Palo Alto and Santa Clara on the topic of flood management (including measuring, forecasting and overall response to flooding) and how best to work together moving forward. All attendees were encouraged to contact the District regarding emergency planning and response. A second meeting was held in June where the Coyote Creek EAP was discussed once staff provided an update on the project’s activities.

  • In October 2017, the District hosted a Winter Emergency Operations and Preparedness Workshop with attendees from cities and the county, and presenters from the District's Office of Emergency Services, Watershed Field Operations, Reservoir Operations, Public Information, Flood Forecast & Warning System 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 predicted water conditions and multiple agencies' activities to prepare for the winter season and possible emergencies, with an emphasis on the potential for flooding and corresponding response activities.

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

E2.2: Flood-Fighting Action Plans 

  • West Little Llagas Creek Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and Uvas Creek EAP (Uvas/Llagas Watershed) - The District's Emerging Leaders Certification Program participants are developing the flood response procedures, which includes incorporating input from the cities of Morgan Hill (West Little Llagas Creek) and Gilroy (Uvas Creek). 
  • San Francisquito Creek EAP (Lower Peninsula watershed) – Completed in FY17 and will be updated annually. Staff is currently updating the District's internal San Francisquito EAP in 2018.
  • Canoas Creek EAP (Guadalupe watershed) – This EAP is now being developed with the assistance of a consultant. Furthermore, it will be incorporated as an appendix into the Joint EAP with the City of San Jose. 

  • Coyote Creek EAP (Coyote watershed) – The District completed the Joint EAP with the City of San José in November 2017. This EAP specifies emergency response actions and roles and responsibilities for both agencies, that specifically include lessons learned from the February 2017 storm event. Some of the key items are: communication procedures, flood stage information, and site-specific flood management actions within the Coyote Annex of the EAP. Three community meetings were held in October 2017 to reach out to those neighborhoods that were most affected by the February 2017 Coyote Creek flooding. A key outcome of those meetings was to gather information on how community members want to be contacted during an actual emergency event (e.g. cell phone, door knocking, etc.). The Joint EAP was adopted by the District Board and the San Jose City Council in November 2017. 


Updated July 2018

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 District-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, the District 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 District website.