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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Measure S?


For nearly two decades, Santa Clara County residents have enjoyed the benefits of voter-approved, locally controlled funding to protect our local water supply. Measure S will renew this essential local funding for the Santa Clara Valley Water District to ensure we have an adequate supply of safe, reliable water.

Measure S does not raise taxes just simply renews the Safe Clean Water and Natural Protection Program, last approved by 74% for local voters.




Why do we need Measure S?


An adequate supply of safe, reliable water is crucial to sustain our economy and quality of life. Measure S upgrades outdated, seismically unsafe pipelines and dams that deliver water countywide. Measure S also funds needed improvements to protect our local water infrastructure and supply from the impact of climate change, drought, earthquakes, flooding and other natural disasters. Projects from this measure will also reduce toxins, hazards, and contaminants in our rivers, lakes, and streams.

Measure S continues work that’s already being done countywide, like creek restoration, shoreline protection, environmental cleanup and habitat restoration. These projects have been essential to protecting our communities from extended drought, increased pollution and climate change.




Specifically, how will Measure S preserve our water supply for our future?


When approved by voters, Measure S will:

  • Protect our local drinking water supply;
  • Upgrade aging pipelines, dams to protect against earthquakes and climate change;
  • Reduce pollution, toxins and contaminants in waterways;
  • Provide natural flood protection




Is this the right time for Measure S?


Yes. We simply can’t afford to lose this important funding and put our local water supply at risk. Measure S will provide $45.5 million annually to create projects which will protect our water supply for future generations.

Also, if there is a recession, the market will be favorable and construction costs will be

lower, benefitting the District and local taxpayers, and making our local dollars go farther.




How will Measure S help our community?


Measure S can serve as a catalyst for job creation in for communities in Santa Clara County. It would sustain the local industry, employ local workers, and bring economic activity to our area which can help local restaurants and shops that have been badly impacted by COVID-19 public health and safety measures.




Does Measure S include fiscal accountability?


Measure S includes strong fiscal safeguards:

  • Every penny from Measure S will be spent locally to protect our water supply for future generations of Santa Clara County residents. No funds can be taken by the State.
  • Measure S requires independent citizen oversight and audits to ensure funds are spent as promised.
  • Measure S provides an exemption to local senior citizens.
  • Any updates or changes to Measure S must be conducted and made available for public comment, including large-scale projects through the California Environmental Quality Act process.
  • Measure S includes plans to bring together stakeholders to prioritize and assess water protection and natural flood projects, to ensure results and effective use of environmental protection resources.




How much does Measure S cost?


Measure S would cost property owners an average of $.006 per square foot per parcel, or approximately $67.67 per year for the typical homeowner of a single-family residence. This would generate $45.5 million to support projects to protect our local water supply.




Has our community supported local funding for safe, clean water in the past?


Yes. Since 2001, voters have continuously approved a dedicated source of local funding for water preservation and natural flood protection. In 2012, voters last approved Measure B, the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program with 74% of the vote.




Does the Santa Clara Valley Water District have a good track record for fiscal responsibility?


The Measure B Safe Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program Independent Monitoring Committee has consistently reported that all locally controlled funding as spent as promised. To view information, project updates and reports from the independent oversight committee, please visit: https://www.valleywater.org/project-updates/safe-clean-water-and-natural-flood-protection-program/safe-clean-water-program-archive




Can senior citizens receive an exemption?


Yes, when Measure S passes, senior citizen homeowners could receive an exemption for their primary residence through a simple application process.




Will Measure S change my tax rates?


No. Measure S will not change current tax rates, but continue the current tax rate structure.




When will Measure S appear on the ballot?


To ensure a safe and reliable water supply for our area, the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors has placed Measure S on the November 3, 2020 ballot.




What level of support is required to pass Measure S?


We need at least 66.7% of voters to vote YES on Measure S—every single vote will matter. We will need everyone’s help to ensure a victory on Election Day!




Would I be able to vote on Measure S?


All registered voters living within Santa Clara Valley Water District would be eligible to vote on Measure S.




How can I register to vote or learn more about voting?


You can register to vote at www.registertovote.ca.gov. To find out more about voting in this

election, please contact the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters at (408) 299-8683

or www.sccvotes.org.





Ad paid for by Safe Clean Water for Our Future, Yes on Measure S.  Committee major funding from: 
California Alliance for Jobs — Rebuild California Committee
Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coalition Issues PAC
AECOM Technology Corporation