When it comes to big infrastructure projects, the Santa Clara Valley Water District believes it’s important to look at the plans for improvements holistically, and from a long-term perspective. That’s the purpose of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), heard May 9 and approved by the Board of Directors.
The water district’s 5-year CIP is a rolling plan that describes water infrastructure and flood protection projects planned for the next five fiscal years. The first year of the FY 2018-2022 CIP informs the FY 2018 capital budget and allows the water district to plan expenditures for the upcoming years.
The FY 2018-2022 CIP includes 66 projects with proposed funding of $197 million in FY 2018. These projects include 30 water supply projects from water treatment plant upgrades to seismic retrofitting of dams to pipeline rehabilitation and investments in the Recycled and Purified Water program. They also include 17 flood protection projects along Upper Guadalupe River, Coyote Watershed, San Francisquito Creek, Upper and Lower Llagas Creek and Sunnyvale East/West Channels. Water resources stewardship makes up nine projects from environmental enhancement to mitigation to feasibility studies. There is also money set aside for three building and grounds projects and seven information technology projects. Over the next five years, the planned construction work is estimated to create or sustain 8,000 – 16,000 jobs.
The money for the projects included in the CIP comes from a variety of sources, including a special parcel tax, a portion of 1 percent ad valorem property taxes, benefit assessments, groundwater charges, as well as through grants and partnerships with local, state and federal agencies. The CIP is developed in parallel with the fiscal year’s water charges, and to fully fund the water supply projects in the FY 2018-2022 CIP, water charges need to increase by 9.6 percent in North County, which extends to just south of San Jose, and 6.4 percent in South County.
Projects included in the CIP are carefully selected to meet the needs of the community and the water district. Projects must meet three criteria: They must conform to the board’s priorities and contribute to the water district’s objectives; have identified funding for the duration of the projects; and be coordinated with the local jurisdiction’s General Plan. The water district solicits community input through the public hearing process, and the board weighs in before the draft budget is assembled. The public hearing opened April 26 and closed May 9.
Once that process was completed, the draft was assembled and made available for review. The public hearing on the CIP concluded at the regular meeting of the water district board of directors, where they adopted the CIP. For more information, visit www.valleywater.org.