The Valley Water Board of Directors led senior staff in a series of successful virtual meetings with leaders in Washington, D.C., on March 28-30 to advocate for Santa Clara County’s water infrastructure priorities.
Valley Water advocated for federal funding for water supply and flood protection projects in Santa Clara County with members of President Joe Biden’s administration and Congress. The Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project, the Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project, the Recycled and Purified Water Program, and the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project were among the group’s top priorities.
Valley Water leaders and staff also provided an update on the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project for Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, Congressman Jimmy Panetta, staff from the offices of Congressman Ro Khanna and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, plus the federal regulatory agencies involved in the project. These meetings, which Congresswoman Lofgren has convened quarterly since December 2019, have helped ensure the project moves forward on schedule and as safely as possible.
Since the group’s last series of virtual D.C. visits, Congress passed the once-in-a-generation Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The meetings in March provided an opportunity for Valley Water to stress the need for federal investment in water infrastructure in Santa Clara County, particularly to support water storage and conveyance, recycled water development, and dam safety upgrades.
Robust federal funding would match the financial commitment Santa Clara County voters made with the passage of Measure S in November 2020. Federal funding is key to completing large-scale projects that are critical for combating the severe drought that continues to plague our region and much of the West.
The delegation conducted 12 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 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.