San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo clashes with the agency responsible for providing water to Santa Clara County.
California is facing another severe drought – and due to climate change, scientists said it will only get worse. This is where Valley Water’s $ 2.5 billion reservoir project comes in, which they believe is key to protecting our future water supplies.
Liccardo said it was an overpriced mistake that could spell interest rate hikes for users every year for the next decade.
“We don’t need this project,” said Liccardo. “Let’s go.”
As part of the project, the Santa Clara Valley Water District would expand the Pacheco Reservoir to allow much more water to be stored, giving the South Bay a larger reserve in the event of drought.
The agency said their project was misunderstood and wrongly targeted by the mayor. The rate hike claims are false and the agency has already received a $ 500 million grant from the state.
A scholarship that they supposedly received because the project was the best of its kind.
“It serves as an emergency water supply for Valley Water as well as protection for disadvantaged communities. It actually eases some of the attraction we have for the Delta,” said Christopher Hakes of the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
Liccardo argues that there are much cheaper and more effective options that won’t add to your water bill.
“Let’s save money and invest in conservation, let’s invest in much cheaper approaches like water banks,” Liccardo said.
On Tuesday, the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors will vote on whether to increase water rates.
The hike would be approximately $ 4.30 for the average homeowner’s monthly bill as of July 1, with the additional money going to fund the Pacheco Reservoir project.
Meanwhile, the agency said it was also working on reducing the overall cost, possibly by as much as $ 400 million. And also hopes to get more federal money to offset the costs. They say the bottom line is that this project is key to protecting the water supply for generations.
“We’re not just looking at this year or next, we’re looking at 10 years, 20 years, 30 years across the board,” said Hakes. “In fact, an enlarged reservoir will be in operation for 100 years or more.”
Liccardo has no authority to stop the project but hopes that his reasoning will influence those who can.