Pictured is the new concrete “soil nail wall” next to the base of Anderson Dam, which reinforces the earthen slope to support a 24-foot tunnel that will be excavated through to the inside of the reservoir. Photo contributed by Valley Water

It has been just over two years since Valley Water broke ground at Anderson Dam with the promise to protect the public and secure Santa Clara County’s water supply. Since then, our agency has made tremendous progress on this vital public safety and water supply project. 

Currently our work at the site is focused on building a new, larger outlet tunnel next to the dam. As of mid-October, contractors excavated more than 1,000 feet of the 1,736-foot-long tunnel, which will provide greater control over reservoir water levels. 

We anticipate the work on the outlet tunnel will take another two years to finish, and once that is done, Valley Water will begin rebuilding the dam and spillway.

Rebuilding Anderson Dam is Valley Water’s top priority. This project will help ensure public safety, protect our regional water supply and provide environmental benefits for generations to come.

At the beginning of September, our agency reached a milestone with the release of the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project Draft Environmental Impact Report. This document identifies environmental impacts associated with our plan to rebuild Anderson Dam to modern-day seismic safety standards. 

Following this document’s release, our agency held a successful and well-attended public meeting in Morgan Hill to provide information and give the community an opportunity to share thoughts and concerns. I’d like to thank everyone who attended and provided us with their feedback.

Valley Water also recently released a terrific video highlighting our tunneling work. You can view the video on our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/@Valleywater/videos.

I know this project is of great interest to our community. We look forward to keeping you informed of our progress.

For further information, contact your elected district representative, John L. Varela at [email protected].

John L. Varela is Chair of the Valley Water Board of Directors. He also represents the board’s District 1, which includes South County. 

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