Clean Energy Capital


Santa Clara Selects P3 for Expedited Purified Water Program


November 10, 2017

SAN JOSE - The Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCWD) is to pursue a P3 for its proposed USD 950m expedited purified water project.

Deputy Operating Officer Katherine Oven during the Design-Build Institute of America's annual conference in Philadelphia on 9 November said that the agency shortlisted teams for DB and P3 procurements.

A CDM-PCL joint venture, a Filanc Black & Veatch joint venture, and CH2M Hill Engineers, were on 21 June 2016 shortlisted for the project’s design-build procurement. A team comprised of Goldman Sachs, Table Rock Capital and CH2M Hill, as well as another Brookfield Infrastructure Partners team were in May shortlisted for the P3 procurement.

Oven said that market feedback prompted the agency to pick one procurement method before advancing the project forward.

SCWD in September 2016 recommended a progressive DB delivery model to its board of directors. The board of directors in March 2017 held meetings with the water authorities of San Jose (DB), Orange County(Design-Bid-Build), Rialto (DBFOM) and Stockton (DB) before making a decision in order to better evaluate the benefits of traditional procurements versus P3s.

Oven said that the body on 10 October 2017 voted in favor of a DBFOM procurement by a 6:1 margin, following a meeting with the authority behind the Carlsbad Desalination Plant. She added that the key drivers for the board were related to risk transfer and the private partner’s responsibility for operations and maintenance.

“The feedback from Carlsbad really resonated with the board, who learnt of how during the first few months of the Carlsbad deal it went a little belly up and how the authority didn't have to pay a dime,” she said.

Oven said that the RFP for the project and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) must now be developed. She added that it could take up to a year for the project definition and scope to be defined.

Three bidders, including a CDM-PCL joint venture, a Filanc Black & Veatch joint venture, and CH2M Hill Engineers, were shortlisted for the project’s design-build procurement on 21 June 2016.

Project Details

The expedited purified water program comprises several elements, including the expansion of the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center and the development of the Mid-Basin and Westside injection wells.

The district is comprised of 15 cities with 5,000 well owners and 13 water retailers.

David Moore