Valley Water delegation participates in successful virtual advocacy visits with federal leaders

The seven members of the Board of Directors led a Valley Water delegation in a series of successful virtual meetings with federal leaders on April 19-21 to advocate for Santa Clara County’s priorities.

The Valley Water group focused on federal funding, water supply and flood protection projects in Santa Clara County with members of the Presidential Administration and Congress. Among the priorities discussed were the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project and the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project.

Valley Water leaders and staff have met quarterly with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and federal regulatory officials involved in the Anderson Project to ensure the project moves forward as safely and quickly as possible. The virtual D.C. visits provided another opportunity to update those officials on the project’s progress.

The Anderson Project is especially important as Santa Clara County enters another drought. Once the project is completed, it will protect public safety and increase local water storage capacity. While the construction takes place, Valley Water will have to purchase emergency water to meet demand and keep groundwater levels healthy.

Valley Water staff is working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers San Francisco District to begin construction on the Shoreline Project. The Valley Water delegation conveyed to Army Corps officials in Washington D.C. of the critical importance of completing this project to benefit Alviso residents and the entire South San Francisco Bay Shoreline.

Other priorities discussed included the development of recycled and purified water; the Coyote Creek, Upper Llagas Creek, and Upper Guadalupe River flood protection projects; and the Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project.

During the meetings, the Valley Water group stressed the importance of federal investment in infrastructure. The new administration and Congress have made a commitment to passing a large infrastructure package in 2021, and Valley Water staff are advocating for significant funding and support for dam safety, water storage and conveyance, and recycled water is included.

This federal funding would match the financial commitment that Santa Clara County voters made with the passage of Measure S last November. Federal funding is key to completing these large-scale projects that will bring significant regional, state, and national economic benefits.

The delegation conducted 18 meetings with Administration officials and agency staff, Members of Congress, and key committee staff. Valley Water makes two annual trips to Washington, D.C., to advocate for priority projects and programs that benefit Santa Clara County residents.

These trips are significant opportunities for the Valley Water Board and leadership to meet with federal-appointed and elected officials and advocate for the vital water projects that benefit the people and environment of our county.

To read more about Valley Water’s ongoing projects, visit our website at valleywater.org.

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