Priority E focuses on providing flood protection through major capital construction projects. Projects are prioritized to protect the largest number of people, homes and businesses, as well as safeguard the highways, streets, public transportation and business centers that people depend on for their livelihoods.
Almost all the construction projects under this priority describe a preferred project that relies on state and federal government funding and a local-funding-only project. Should federal funding become scarce, Valley Water would reduce the project scope to the local-funding-only project, as described in the individual project summaries. Whenever possible, Valley Water also leverages funds from state, local municipalities and other stakeholders.
Climate change is a global reality and is expected to result in sea-level rise and more variable weather patterns, leading to potentially bigger and more frequent floods. Valley Water incorporates climate change projections, especially sea-level rise, in design and construction of more resilient flood protection projects that increase the capacity of channels to convey higher storm events without overbanking into local streets, highways and neighborhoods.
About the Renewed Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program
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.