On Wednesday, March 16, 2023 at 11:00 a.m., the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s (“Valley Water”) Board of Directors will be holding a special meeting on the Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project.

As reported in the Mercury News last month, “the district’s board is scheduled to vote on whether to move forward with the project by authorizing its staff to take it from 30% design completion to 60%” at its March 16th meeting.

The Board needs to hear from YOU, the ratepayers and residents of Santa Clara County as well as concerned people from around the state, about why this expensive and destructive project should be shelved for good.

Here are a few of the main problems with continuing to pursue such a destructive project:

  1. Unknown and Growing Price Tag: Valley Water has claimed that the project would only cost $2.5 billion; this estimate excludes finance expenses. The project’s actual expense is already expected to be higher than $4.5 billion. Furthermore in his recent financial report, Dr. Jeff Michaels indicates that ratepayers would see bills increase by at least $145.80 annually BEFORE the dam construction is even complete and the EPA WIFIA loan repayments start!
  2. It’s Environmentally Destructive with Little Water Supply Benefit: This proposed project brings detrimental damage to the surrounding natural habitats. The dam would destroy more than 1,500 acres of delicate natural communities, greenhouse gas emissions would rise, and Valley Water customers would only receive a small quantity of water each year.
  3. It’s Outdated: It’s pointless to continue the development of this project while other dams in the state are being demolished or deteriorating. Valley Water should be looking at sustainable water projects that are good for the long-term like water recycling, stormwater capture/treatment and groundwater recharge. Typically, evaporation causes dams to lose about half of their water capacity over time.
  4. Incomplete Environmental Review: Valley Water has already admitted that the Draft Environmental Impact Report circulated in 2022 is inadequate and must be redone, and the federal environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act has not even begun.

Please join Stop the Pacheco Dam Coalition and our friends in Santa Clara County and around the state in opposing this project by providing comments on the item before and at the meeting.

Send a comment directly to the Valley Water board through the Stop Pacheco Dam petition

HERE are the meeting detials. 

How to attend the meeting:

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No EPA Funding for Destructive New Dam on Pacheco Pass, California