gmhTODAY 26 gmhTODAY June July 2019 - Page 82

The tagline, which often appears with the new logo, is “Clean water. Healthy environment. Flood protection.” It reflects Valley Water’s five “priorities in action,” namely: • Ensure A Safe Reliable Water Supply • Reduce Toxins, Hazards, and Contaminants in Our Waterways • Protect Our Water Supply from Earthquakes and Natural Disasters • Restore Wildlife Habitat and Provide Open Space • Provide Flood Protection to Homes, Businesses, Schools, and Highways Written By Larry J. Mickartz T he Santa Clara Valley Water District, founded in 1929, is the largest multi-purpose water supply, watershed stewardship and fl ood management special district in California. Locally the Gavilan Water district merged with the Santa Clara Valley Water District in 1987. This name is a mouthful and while it will remain the legal name, the water district’s new brand name is Valley Water. Actually “Valley Water” has been the unofficial moniker for a while, but now it is legit, along with a great new logo. Kudos to Valley Water for engaging its inhouse staff to develop the new branding. Too often public agencies go outside and pay big bucks for this work! The new logo of Valley Water communicates the mission of the organization. A recent press release sums it up: “The top of the drop evokes the valley’s mountain peaks, while the swoosh in the middle represents our local streams. The blue at the bottom reminds us of the groundwater beneath our feet, a critical component of our water supply. Moreover, in addition to our traditional blue, the inclusion of a green color better represents Valley Water’s environmental stewardship mission, which includes watershed protection, habitat restoration and pollution prevention.” 82 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Since its founding in 1929, the water district has been responsible for providing safe, clean water; flood protection; and stewardship of local streams. In order to do this, the water district imports water, stocks ground water and maintains ten reservoirs. It also maintains treatment plants and a laboratory to test water purity, and strives to maintain local creeks, rivers and waterways. Use of water is tied to conservation, which is also a major objective of Valley Water, along with flood protection. The complex programs and initiatives of Valley Water in support of its goals are overseen by a Board of Directors representing the seven districts in Santa Clara Valley. Valley Water serves the water needs of 1.9 million local residents. Our local District 1 representative is John Varela of Morgan Hill. Norma Camacho is the CEO of Valley Water and is responsible for a budget exceeding $500 million and around 800 employees. Three issues of particular relevance and interest to local residents include: the seismic retrofit of Anderson Dam, the proposed new Pacheco Reservoir, and maintaining affordable water rates for agriculture. The Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project is a major project the timetable of which has been extended by complications from recent drought years. Plans are moving ahead at this time for construction to start in 2022. The entire project will entail major modifications to the dam itself, the spillway, the outlet pipe, and the surrounding area. The end result will be a safer dam with major storage capabilities. Anderson Dam is the largest of all the existing reservoirs in the Valley Water district. At capacity it can hold 89,278 acre feet of water. However, due to seismic safety concerns it is currently limited to 52 percent of capacity. Valley Water recently held a community meeting to provide an update on the project, with additional meetings planned in the future. More information is available at Valley Water Anderson Dam Retrofit. The second major Valley Water project of interest to locals is the proposed expansion of the Pacheco Reservoir. This project would transform the small existing reservoir (6,000 acre-feet) into a much larger water storage facility (140,000 acre-feet). The Pacheco Reservoir is located off Highway 152 about 13 miles southwest of the San Luis Reservoir. june/july 2019