BY BRADEN CARTWRIGHT
Daily Post Staff Writer
China is interested in buying water from Valley Water and selling it to other customers, according to CEO Rick Callender.
A local developer contacted Callender and said he could secure funding from the Chinese government and businesses for the $2.8 billion expansion of Pacheco Reservoir, a controversial project in southern Santa Clara County that has divided Valley Water’s board.
Callender told the developer that Valley Water wasn’t interested.
There are questions about the legality of having foreign governments fund local projects, he said.
Board member Jim Beall asked on Tuesday why China was interested, and Callender said the government would try to profit off of the water rights.
Callender said he didn’t know who China’s customers would be.
Beall said farmers would probably buy it because they use a a large amount of water.
Callender disclosed the interest from China after a long line of questioning from Beall about who Valley Water’s funding partners might be.
Valley Water spokesman Mark Gomez yesterday declined to name the local developer who relayed China’s interest to Callender.
A new Pacheco dam would cost more than $2.8 billion and expand the capacity of the reservoir by 25 times.
Opponents of the project say the dam will harm the environment, and that the money should be spent on more sustainable projects, like water recycling.