Board adopts budget, plan to deal with aging infrastructure

The board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District adopted a $509.9 million budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 on Tuesday, May 8. Along with the budget, they also approved the 5-year Capital Improvement Program and a water rate increase of 9.7 percent for most of the county, and a 7.7 percent increase for the portion of the county south of San José. These increases translate to about $3.92 and $1.10 respectively for an average household each month. The Capital Improvement Program includes a number of projects that are necessary to ensure our infrastructure can continue to meet water supply needs in the future.

The budget, which includes net operating outlays of $304.8 million and $205.1 million for capital projects, is based on the nine priorities for FY 19 that the board adopted previously. Those priorities, in no particular order, are:

  1. Make key decisions regarding the California WaterFix.
  2. Provide for a watershed-wide regulatory planning and permitting effort.
  3. Foster a coordinated approach to environmental stewardship efforts.
  4. Advance the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project.
  5. Advance recycled and purified water efforts with San José and other agencies.
  6. Finalize the Fisheries and Aquatic Habitat Collaborative Effort (FAHCE).
  7. Actively pursue efforts to increase water storage opportunities.
  8. Advance diversity and inclusion efforts.
  9. Coyote Creek flood response.

“This is a responsible budget that will help us meet our obligations to the people and businesses of Santa Clara County,” said Board Chair Richard P. Santos. “This budget helps us to face the challenge of aging infrastructure so we can ensure reliability for the future and to expand recycled, purified water to shore up our water supply to meet future needs.”

The 5-year Capital Improvement Program describes the water district’s capital investments planned for the next five fiscal years and has a value of $4.2 billion. That amount is the cost of the projects for those five years, not the cost to complete them. The FY 19-23 plan includes 61 projects that address water supply, flood protection, environmental stewardship, information technology and the buildings and grounds of the water district.

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