On Tuesday, February 28, the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors approved reallocating funds in an existing contract with the San Jose Conservation Corps (Corps) and redirecting the contract services to support the City of San José in responding to public health and safety efforts in the areas impacted by the Coyote Creek flooding.
In accordance with the Brown Act (Government Code section 54954.2 (b)(2), the board added to the meeting agenda a request from San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo to repurpose $100,000 available to assist the city’s response efforts to the impairment of public health and safety in flooded areas. The water district board unanimously approved the request and authorized Interim CEO Norma Camacho to determine how much funding in the existing contract up to the $450,000 in available funds, is necessary to redirect toward assisting the city’s response efforts. The services would be provided by the Corps.
“This is the one of many steps the water district is taking to work closely with the City of San José to not only respond to the devastating flood impacts, but also toward seeking solutions to reduce flood risks in these heavily impacted areas,” said Board Chair John Varela.
For over 20 years, the water district has worked closely with the San Jose Conservation Corps on homeless encampment clean-up, removal of trash and debris for creeks, hand fill sandbags and distributing educational information to neighborhoods. In the last two years, the Corps has assisted in trash cleanups, sandbag production and delivery of water conservation notices to residents in Santa Clara County.
The water district also plans to reach out to impacted residents and neighborhoods to seek input through public community meetings, and invite the City of San José to participate.
Chair Varela expressed strong interest in partnering with the City of San José to reach out to federal representatives in hopes of earning federal support and assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a flood protection project along vulnerable areas of Coyote Creek.The Santa Clara Valley Water District, with a history dating back to 1929, manages an integrated water resources system that includes the supply of clean, safe water, flood protection and stewardship of streams on behalf of Santa Clara County’s 1.9 million residents. The district effectively manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, and nearly 400 acres of groundwater recharge ponds, providing wholesale water and groundwater management services to local municipalities and private water retailers who deliver drinking water to homes and businesses. The water district is the flood control agency for Santa Clara County, annually preparing creeks for winter rains through levee maintenance, sediment removal, bank repair and vegetation management. We have invested more than $1 billion in flood protection efforts to protect nearly 100,000 parcels with many more projects planned.