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Project Update & Related News

Monthly Update and Related News
February 10, 2014



Update on City's Water Supply Advisory Committee

On November 26, 2013, the City Council authorized the formation of an ad-hoc committee, the Water Supply Advisory Committee (WSAC), to “explore, through an iterative, fact-based process, the City’s water profile, including supply, demand and future threats, and analyze potential solutions to deliver a safe, adequate, reliable and environmentally sustainable water supply, and develop strategy recommendations for City Council consideration.”

At its  upcoming February 11, 2014 meeting, the City Council will consider approving the proposed membership for the Water Supply Advisory Committee.  For a link to the staff memo, click here.  For a list of the proposed membership, click here.  


Soquel Creek Water District Takes Closer Look at Recycled Water Options

Since September 2013, the Soquel Creek Water District Board of Directors is dedicating one meeting a month to focus on learning more about options that could increase water supply or reduce water demand.  Past topics have included desalination, surface water transfers, and mandatory water rationing.

On February 4, 2014 the Board of Directors held exploratory discussions to learn more about recycled water options.  With state regulations changing on the use and development of recycled water, this has created opportunities for the District to re-evaluate potential projects and their feasibility.  Presenters at the meeting included:

  • Dave Smith, Managing Director of WateReuse Association– Recycled Water 101
  • Mark Dettle, Public Works Director for City of Santa Cruz - Overview of the Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Todd Reynolds, Kennedy/Jenks, Technical Advisor - Potential Opportunities for District Use of Recycled Water
  • Bill Smallman, Local Citizen and Board Member of Lompico Water District– Conceptual Ideas on Water Reuse: Indirect Potable Reuse and Creative Incentive Programs

Meeting materials are available at

The District’s next two meetings that will be held at Capitola City Hall will include discussions on groundwater rights and options on March 4th and Phase 1 of the District’s Mandatory Water Rationing Program on April 1st. 

These exploratory discussion meetings are being recorded by Community TV of Santa Cruz County for playbacks on their government/public affairs channel 25/71.

Water Supply Outlook- Update on City and District Actions

On January 17th, Governor Brown officially declared a drought emergency in California and asked all Californians for 20% voluntary reductions.  On January 28, County elected officials, city officials and local water districts throughout Santa Cruz County held a joint press conference to address the water shortage impacts directly affecting the local area. 

The City of Santa Cruz is supporting a 20% voluntary cutback and, since May 1, 2013 is under Stage 1 Water Restrictions.  The Council will be receiving an update on the current water supply conditions  at their February 11, 2014  meeting at 7PM.  

The Council will also be discussing   possible actions to respond to the water supply situation and will scheduling a future meeting to consider adopting a resolution declaring a Stage 3 Water Shortage Emergency.  To view the staff memo, click here. To view the City's water supply outlook, click here. To view the Water Commission's Recommendations for Council declaration for Stage 3, click here.  

The City of Santa Cruz, which is primarily dependent on surface water, has created a drought-specific webpage to help carry residents and businesses reuse water consumption during the ongoing drought.  To visit the site, click here.  

Soquel Creek Water District is also supporting a 20% voluntary cutback and is working on Phase 1 of its Mandatory Water Rationing Plan that will be presented to District’s Board of Directors on April 1.   With total reliance on groundwater as its sole source of supply, drought conditions contribute to the District’s shortfall, but are not the cause of it. 

The marginal rainfall the District has received this year is not aiding in any recharge of the groundwater basin and the District’s long term actions are still focused on securing a supplemental water supply or imposing water rationing to reduce overall groundwater pumping by 35% for at least 20 years to protect the basin from seawater contamination.   

To visit the District’s webpage on 2014 water cutbacks, click here.

For Water Saving Tips, click here.
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