Investigations underway for the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project

Retrofitting a nearly 70-year old dam takes a lot of careful planning and investigation.

Seismic considerations in 1950, when Anderson Dam was built, are no longer sufficient to keep the community and our water supply safe. That’s why the Santa Clara Valley Water District is working hard to bring the dam, which forms our largest surface water reservoir, up to current standards—so it can withstand a strong earthquake on the faults that run near it.

But as we delve deeper into the land under and around it, we discover more information that affects our plans for this project. The challenges the water district needs to address include fish habitat, landslide risks, seismic risks, and community impact.

This project is in the design phase, and the focus is on securing permits and meeting federal and state regulations. The district expects construction to start in 2021, and take approximately five years to complete.

What to expect once construction begins:

  • Traffic Impacts: There will be trucks and equipment in the area, and detours will result in increased traffic. The water district will work hard to minimize this impact for residents and passing drivers.
  • Material Transportation: A conveyor system will transport material from the dam down to a stockpiling area to help minimize road use for hauling material. The covered conveyor will have noise reducing equipment to further shield the neighboring community.

The water district is planning the next public meeting for Spring 2019. The district encourages you to attend to receive more project details and learn about its future benefits. Please see the presentation from the last public meeting in October 2018.

For more information, contact Public Information Representative Tony Mercado at (408) 630-2342 or at

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is committed to maintaining water quality and environmental protection and infrastructure. The Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project seeks to ensure public safety and secure a reliable water supply today and for future generations.  Evaluating, understanding, and proposing measures that help reduce the impact to the environment and community are critical to the project design and implementation.

About Anderson Dam and Reservoir

Anderson Reservoir was built in 1950 during the construction of the Anderson Dam east of Morgan Hill. The reservoir and dam were named after Leroy Anderson, a key founder and first president of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. It is the largest reservoir owned by the Santa Clara Valley Water District. The 235 foot high earthen dam measures 1,430 feet long by 900 feet wide and sits along the Coyote Creek Fault on Coyote Road. It stores local rainfall runoff and imported water from the federal Central Valley Project.


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