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One Water Plan

About This Project

Valley Water’s Watershed Master Planning engages the community and uses equitable metrics to identify flood protection and stream stewardship priority actions for a sustainable future.

One Water Vision: Manage Santa Clara County water resources holistically and sustainably to benefit people and the environment in a way that is informed by community values.

One Water Countywide Framework

One Water Watershed Master Plans

Coyote Watershed Plan

Upper Pajaro Watershed Plan 

Guadalupe Watershed Plan

Interactive Priority Actions Map

Coyote Watershed
Guadalupe Watershed
Pajaro Watershed
West Valley Watershed
Lower Peninsula Watersheds
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 Valley Water Board of Directors adopted the Guadalupe and Upper Pajaro Watershed Plans on April 9, 2024.

You can view the staff presentation here.

Watershed management priorities recommended in the plans will be incorporated into future capital and operating projects and programs.  The plans will be updated on a 5-year cycle to document progress on ecology, water quality, and flood risk reduction actions

The watershed master planning process includes stakeholder cohorts representing academic, agriculture, business, civic/public policy, environmental, flood, housing and neighborhoods, local government, open space and conservation, resource conservation, state government, stormwater, transportation, tribal, and water supply. Public input received on the Guadalupe and Upper Pajaro Watershed Plans is provided below.

Environmental & Community Benefits

Valley Water faces the challenge of delivering reliable water supply, maintained and improved flood risk reduction, and preserved and enhanced environmental stewardship with finite resources. To do this well, Valley Water needs a decision-making process to strategically allocate limited resources towards actions that most efficiently achieve its mission and service to the community. To meet this need, this One Water planning effort provides an important new roadmap for integrated resource planning on a watershed scale.


The tiered plan begins with a countywide framework (Tier I) to establish guidance for watershed-specific plans. Then each of the five major watersheds in Santa Clara County – Coyote, Guadalupe, Pajaro, West Valley, and Lower Peninsula – will have their own master plan (Tier II) that will guide future decisions on priority actions to protect or enhance our community and environment.

The plans will also provide a basis for partnerships with other agencies, funding initiatives, grant opportunities, and new policy recommendations.

These are intended to lead to:

  • An integrated approach to water resources management supported by the community
  • A sustainable watershed habitat
  • Enhanced relationships with public and regulatory agencies
  • Improved living environment for residents and wildlife

We estimate that it will take up to three years to complete the plans for all five watersheds, following completion of the countywide plan. The first watershed-specific plan will be Coyote Watershed (draft complete), followed by Guadalupe and Pajaro, and then Lower Peninsula and West Valley watersheds. We anticipate the implementation of these plans will lead to new projects, programs, policies and partnerships.


One key to making One Water a successful plan is its measurable objectives. By establishing a baseline and target conditions for each objective, Valley Water can help track improvements in watershed health and water resources management.

Table 4-2 below represents draft measures for assessing the status of the five objectives in the One Water Plan. Each objective (A thru E) will be measured via specific attributes and metrics, and watershed targets where applicable, as described in the One Water Countywide Framework and subsequent watershed plans. Priority actions will be determined in part by how they improve conditions toward meeting targets.

History & Background


The One Water Plan builds on Valley Water’s rich history of planning and implementing projects for a reliable water supply, improved flood protection, and enhanced environmental stewardship. Beginning in 2013, the One Water Plan started to develop its integrated water resources approach through a countywide framework and five watershed plans.




  • A 50-year roadmap for integrated water resource planning on a watershed scale in Santa Clara County
  • One Water will serve as the district’s flood management plan and stream stewardship master plan. It will also identify where there is a nexus between the district’s flood protection, stream stewardship, and water supply functions. The plan will provide a framework for measuring improvements in watershed health through science-based metrics and targets.


  • Identify and prioritize water resource investments across the organization’s three functions of flood protection, environmental stewardship, and water supply
  • Provide information to cities and the county to inform their land-use decisions
  • Form the basis of future parcel taxes/ballot measures
  • Potential to improve the process for permitting on a watershed scale


  • Santa Clara County and its five major watershed areas


  • Complete One Water Framework and Coyote Watershed Plan by FY2022
  • Complete One Water Plan (all five watershed plans) by FY2024

Related Information