Bakground of the City

The City of Campbell is part of Silicon Valley, with an estimated population of 38,138. Although this suburban residential community is not a high-tech hub like its neighbors, the city assumes a very proactive approach to protecting its water resources.

How to provide that water in a fair and sustainable way is the primary goal of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. In addition, the District and the City collaborate on watershed-based planning projects that help to preserve and protect the community’s ecology and picturesque neighborhoods.


Shared Responsibilities

Most policies guiding development and use of resources in Campbell are contained in the City's General Plan. Recognizing that their roles and responsibilities often intersect, the District and the City work together on many key community interests. Major efforts include:

  • Providing all contractors with the City of Campbell Interim Guidance: Selecting Best Management Practices for Development Projects to assist with pollution prevention and water quality protection guidance
  • Implementing the California Storm Water Best Management Practices Handbook
  • Adopting the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA) document Start at the Source
  • Planning to meet the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program (SCVURPPP) guidelines to satisfy National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) goals
  • Implementing FEMA requirements for evaluating flood hazards and construction in hazard areas

In operating existing facilities and services, guidance can be found in:

  • The San Tomas Neighborhood Plan (2002)
  • The Campbell Downtown Development Plan (1996)

Looking forward, further collaboration or partnership will facilitate sustainable development in the region, particularly in the following areas:

When evaluating land use decisions:

  • Assess and plan for changes in water demand and storm water management, especially taking into account how urbanization affects the water cycle.
  • Decrease the demand for water.
  • Expand water use efficiency in existing and new development.
  • Actively pursue and facilitate the use of recycled water.
  • Protect and expand local water supplies.
  • Protect groundwater basins and source water protection zones.
  • Reduce flood risk.
    • Site new construction to assure stable stream channels and minimize flood risk.
    • Require that new construction in flood prone areas be built to flood safe standards.
  • Protect natural stream functions.
    • Restore fisheries, riparian habitat, and wetland areas.
    • Explore opportunities for increased creek-side trails and open space.

During operations of existing facilities or services:

  • Manage local storm drainage systems with stream capacity to contain floodwaters.
  • Support measures to reduce the exposure to flood risk.
  • Support measures to enhance flood preparedness and knowledge of risk exposure.
  • Prepare critical facilities for operations during flood events or prolonged draught.
  • Reduce pollutants entering streams.


The interactive map below shows the location of Campbell and illustrates some of the city's key features, such as major creeks, flood zones and groundwater subbasins.

To view key features, choose a layer from the "Select a layer to display" menu on the map below. You can select multiple layers to view at one time; if you wish to turn off a layer, select it again from the menu. Individual layers contain specific data that you can access by clicking on the layer itself.







Key Water Resources Features

The City of Campbell includes portions of the San Tomas Aquino and Los Gatos watersheds. In addition, two District reservoirs serve the City: Vasona and Lexington.  These reservoirs and creeks form the basis of an expansive water resources network.


Water Supply

The District works with the City of Campbell to ensure a reliable supply of clean, healthy water for a variety of uses. The San José Water Company (SJWC) provides all of the City’s water. SJWC sources its water principally from the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) with the remainder being supplied by wells. Both sources are chlorinated. The City’s General Plan, however, lacks policies regarding the reliability of the water supply, encouragement for interagency coordination for regional water supply problem-solving, and incentives to meet water supply requirements.

Campbell is actively involved with Bay Area Regional Water Recycling (BARWR) through the South Bay Advanced Recycled Water Treatment Facility. Collectively, BARWR agencies have invested nearly $300 million of local funds in water recycling projects. Federal investment in these highly leveraged, locally managed projects will help ensure the security of water supplies in the Western United States for years to come.


Flood Protection

All water eventually flows to the sea. Controlling flooding also helps control the transport of pollutants. Therefore, preventing the damage flooding can cause is important to ensuring a clean water supply. To mitigate factors contributing to water inundation, the City has enacted measures to control erosion, sedimentation, and impervious pavements. Grading and erosion control requirements include those specified in the California Storm Water BMP Handbook. Low impact new development or redevelopment must address stormwater by increasing infiltration and permeability. Sidewalk, driveway, and parking lot surfaces are all governed by city zoning codes. There is not, however, minimum and maximum street pavement widths, consistent guidance regarding the presence of sidewalks, or requirements for cul-de-sac islands to be landscaped, or limits to impervious surfaces in new developments. To minimize pollution, various ordinances also address how and where toxics may be stored outdoors. Establishing minimum riparian setbacks would further enhance flood protection.


Watershed Health

 To address watershed health, the City supports Riparian Corridor Protection contained within the Conservation and Natural Resources element of the General Plan. Strategies include limiting intrusion by domestic animals, removing invasive species, ensuring that development does not adversely impact riverbanks, and minimizing the use of while maximizing the proper disposal of toxics. The City is working on a policy for eliminating mercury from controllable substances, as well. Natural vegetation and tree protection is also present in various elements and codes.


Citywide Programs and Projects

The City's Public Works Department provides a useful resource for developers and contractors regarding best management practices for site design and storm water treatment.


Related Plan Elements

The Related Plan Elements listed below identify some of the District strategies  applicable to the city. They provide the basis for cities to provide better management of key water resources features within their jurisdictions and to work more effectively with the District to address water resources managemenet issues.

Related Plan Elements

District Advocates
E- Assist in the incorporation of flood-wise design features (e.g., minimize imperviousness, preserve natural drainage, rain harvesting and provide flood water detention) within the watershed. (T)
District Advocates
E- Encourage and provide technical assistance in mitigating erosion, sedimentation and high flows from new development or redevelopments. (T)
District Advocates
E- Promote the preservation of ecological buffers. (T)
District Collaborates
E- Reduce pollutants in streams from urban runoff and minimize the effects on surface and ground water.