On behalf of The silicon valley organization (The SVO), I am writing to you to urge your support for a new start construction authorization for the Santa Clara Valley Water District‚Äôs (District) South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project (Shoreline Project). This flood risk reduction project is vital to the public health, safety, and resiliency of Santa Clara County, home of Silicon Valley. By way of background, we are the Silicon Valley‚Äôs premier business advocacy organization representing 1,400+ companies that employ nearly 300,000 workers and we represent our membership as the region‚Äôs largest Chamber of Commerce.
The Shoreline Project will provide protection from 1-percent tidal flooding in urban areas adjacent to the South San Francisco Bay, restore up to 25 square miles of habitat, and provide public access and recreation. A 1-percent tidal event has been estimated to cause $6.14 billion in damages across 4,700 acres of low-lying areas. In these areas, there is the potential for damage to vital infrastructure including the San Jose-Santa Clara regional wastewater facilities, the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center, and major regional highways such as Route 237. In addition to that, the homes of approximately 2,500 residents and many of our Silicon Valley business members would be impacted by this potential flooding.
Phase 1 of this project (EIA 11) would provide the flood protection that is needed to protect the residents, infrastructure, and the economy of South San Francisco Bay. These benefits, along with the cost abated by providing flood protection, creates a benefit-cost ratio for this authorized project of 2.9 to 1 at a 7-percent discount rate for intermediate sea level change.
For the reasons stated above, I strongly urge you to support a new start construction designation for the Shoreline Project in the Fiscal Year 2018 Work Plan. Thank you for your consideration of this request.