In 2012 Santa Clara County voters overwhelmingly approved the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, a 15-year special parcel tax. The program was approved with five priorities based on the community’s needs and values. The five priorities include ensuring a safe, reliable water supply; reducing toxins, hazards and contaminants in our water ways; protecting our water supply from earthquakes and natural disasters; restoring wildlife habitat and providing open space; and providing flood protection to homes, businesses, schools and highways.
Year three of the program was a very busy one for the water district, as staff worked hard to deliver measurables for the 38 projects supporting the program’s five priorities. The water district is proud to share some of its key accomplishments for fiscal year 2016.
- We completed a fish passage project on Stevens Creek at Evelyn Bridge to improve habitat and remove barriers for steelhead trout swimming up the creek.
- We awarded $130,000 in grants to test new water conservation activities and almost$2 million in grants to restore wildlife habitat.
- We awarded a construction contract for the first phase of San Francisquito Creek Flood Protection Project, funded in partnership with member agencies of the San Francisquito Joint Powers Authority
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed channel construction on a portion of the Upper Guadalupe Flood Protection Project.
- The San Francisco Bay Shoreline Study is moving forward with the next steps of preliminary engineering and design. This project will eventually restore habitat and provide flood protection along critical areas of the south San Francisco Bay Shoreline, many of which touch our county.
- We cleaned more than 937 tons – about 13,000 shopping carts’ worth – of trash and debris from streams through a number of activities, including volunteer cleanups.
To measure the program’s performance, ensure accountability and transparency, the ballot measure created an Independent Monitoring Committee (IMC) comprised of community members appointed by the water district board of directors. In general, the role of the IMC is to analyze the district’s Safe, Clean Water Program annual reports and conduct its own audits of the program on an annual basis. The IMC then produces its own report to track program implementation and results, and provide this information to the district board for its review.
This year, the IMC formed subcommittees to review the annual report by its priority categories. The committee will reconvene and gather findings at the next public meeting on January 25, 2017. Shortly after, the committee will present its findings and any recommendations on the report to the board of directors at a regularly scheduled board meeting.
The FY16 Safe, Clean Water Annual Report is now available and can be viewed here. For more information on the Fy 2016 annual report or the IMC, contact Jessica Collins: 408-630-2200.