THIS JUST IN … Santa Clara Valley Water District board votes to participate in California WaterFix project … some conflicting headlines

From the Santa Clara Valley Water District:

On Tuesday, the Santa Clara Valley Water District voted to participate in the California WaterFix project, the state’s proposed plan to improve the infrastructure that carries water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The participation is conditional, based on seven guiding principles listed below.

As much as 40 percent of the water Santa Clara County uses each year comes through the Delta. But the Delta’s aging network of earthen levees faces risks from rising seas, earthquakes and flooding, while the declining conditions for fish and wildlife have led regulators to put more restrictions on when water can move through the Delta.

“Conditions in the Delta threaten our future water supply,” said Board Chair John L. Varela. “Today, in a 7 to 0 vote, the Board of Directors took action to help our area continue to thrive by protecting Santa Clara Valley’s water supply. I commend my fellow board members for having the courage to stand up for what’s right for the people and businesses of Santa Clara County.”

Over the last several years, the board has held dozens of workshops and presentations on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and California WaterFix projects to hear updates and consider diverse perspectives. The importance of input is even ensconced in one of the principles the board adopted Tuesday to guide the water district’s participation in the project. The principles are:

  • Santa Clara County needs are the primary drivers in all our decisions involving the WaterFix project.
  • We will not allow Silicon Valley values and priorities to be placed at a disadvantage relative to Central Valley Agriculture or Southern California.
  • We are advocating for a flexible approach that addresses Silicon Valley stakeholder and community input.
  • As water is a human right, we must make investments to make sure our water supply meets future needs at a cost affordable by everyone.
  • Equity and costs are important.
  • Any final arrangement must provide flexibility to acquire supplemental water by taking advantage of future wet years to ensure residents have a reliable water supply, no matter what extreme weather the changing climate brings.
  • Keep negotiating for the best deal for Santa Clara County.

The water district will now work with the state and water agency partners to determine the best-sized project that meets the needs of Silicon Valley.

To learn more about the California WaterFix, visit our website.

Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Chair John L. Varela’s Statement regarding the vote on the California WaterFix plan

“Today, in voting to participate in the California WaterFix project, the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors took a course of action that we believe will help Santa Clara County thrive.

The California WaterFix will reduce risks to water supplies from failing levees and rising seas, while improving water flow in the south Delta to protect fish. Because fully 40 percent of the water used in Santa Clara County comes to us through the aging infrastructure of the Delta, our life, environment and economy depend on the condition and reliability of the Delta infrastructure.

The board of the water district is committed to ensuring the people and businesses of Silicon Valley have the water they need at the most affordable price to continue making this an incredible place to live. This is why the board’s support for California WaterFix comes with certain conditions. Our existing imported water supplies, from both the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project must be sustained and protected at a reasonable cost per acre-foot.

Our vote follows dozens of workshops and presentations over the last several years to hear updates and consider diverse perspectives. We have given this careful thought and consideration, and now we will work with our partner agencies and the state to move forward in pursuit of a more secure water future.”

Okay … those two were from Santa Clara Valley Water District itself … and then there’s this …

Santa Clara Valley Water District rejects Jerry Brown’s twin Delta tunnels plan

From the San Jose Mercury News:

In a landmark move closely watched across California, Silicon Valley’s largest water agency on Tuesday voted not to participate in Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17 billion plan to build two giant tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

By a vote of 7-0, the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s board of directors chose instead to adopt a set of principles that endorses a significantly smaller project, with one tunnel that would have less capacity and a lower cost.

“What magnitude of a project makes sense? From our perspective that looks to be something less than originally was envisioned,” said board member Barbara Keegan.

“Our job is to put Santa Clara County first,” said board member Gary Kremen.

Read more from the Mercury News here: Santa Clara Valley Water District rejects Jerry Brown’s twin Delta tunnels plan



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