SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — In Santa Clara County, voters overwhelmingly approved Measure S renewing the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.
Gathering 75.06% of votes in this year’s election — Measure S will ensure public health and safety by ensuring the following:
- Protect drinking water supply, dams from earthquakes and climate change
- Reduce pollution, toxins and contaminants in waterways
- Provide flood protection
“The program was created by the people that we serve and so we went out into the community before the election, we asked tens of thousands of residents what their priorities are and that’s how we built Measure S,” said Matt Keller, Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Media and Public Relations Supervisor.
“And this election with this incredible turnout that we had, record-breaking, the voters showed that they continue to support our mission of providing safe, clean water, natural flood protection and environmental stewardship to Santa Clara County.”
The program will continue to provide $45 million annually for local projects including the Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project, the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project, and pipeline upgrades.
In addition — under Measure S, $38.7 million will be used to work with local cities and agencies over the next 15 years to clean up large creekside encampments that contaminate waterways and damage Valley Water facilities.
“Back in 2012 when we passed the original Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, we had funding in there for our creek cleanups but that funding quickly ran out as the encampment issue has grown exponentially over the last couple of years and it’s really become a major issue here in Santa Clara County, said Keller.
“We’re also partnering with local municipalities, social services and nonprofit advocacy groups that will provide housing alternatives to the unhoused population,” Keller added.
“So even though we don’t provide those services we’re going to provide some funding to help the agencies that can do it best to try and take on this issue at the beginning of this issue in trying to help the unhoused population.”
For more information on the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program click here.