Santa Cruz County

Lompico Water District implements emergency plan to get through the drought

San Lorenzo Valley Water District helps out to prevent neighbors from running out of water

Construction begins on temporary pipeline in Lompico

The severe drought is having an increasingly negative effect on some communities' only source of water. For districts like the Lompico Water District, they are feeling the effects of the drought firsthand. Now, deep in the Santa Cruz mountains a life line to water is starting to take shape.

"This project is primarily to get Lompico Water District out of the drought," said Rick Rogers, San Lorenzo Valley Water District operations director.

Rogers says his district is helping the 500 neighboring homes in Lompico by putting in a water pipe that will tap into San Lorenzo's eater and help the residents of the Lompico District.

"It's the difference between them running out of water," said Rogers. 

In January, the state declared Lompico one of the 17 rural areas that would run out of water in about 100 days because of severe drought conditions. Now about two months later and thanks to a $115,000 grant from the state, an emergency water plan has come into fruition.

In just four weeks, San Lorenzo Valley District is hoping to have a 2,000- foot pipeline between the districts reaching an elevation of 700 feet to deliver water as a supplemental source to the residents of Lompico

Santa Cruz County Environmental Health Services Director John Ricker says running out of water is a very real danger, so the faster the pipes are in, the better.

"Right now they only have three wells none of which really produce a lot of water, but if one of them goes out, they won't have enough to meet the demand," said Ricker.

San Lorenzo Valley said it will help the Lompico Water District out for as long as they can without hurting its customers.

"If someone knocks on your door and asks for help, that's what the San Lorenzo Valley is all about," said Rogers.

Rogers says this is only a short-term solution for Lompico to help them get through the drought. They will not be able to supply water to Lompico Water District permanently.

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