Soquel Creek Water Managers Look For Supply Alternatives

Desalination, recycled water and diversion are being considered

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. - Drought or not, one Central Coast water district claims it's in a bad spot without an additional resource for water.

The Soquel Creek Water District said its supply is being pumped too quickly -in fact it's being overdrafted.  We went to found out what some of the options are as the district looks for a solution.
Every drop counts -- that's just part of the message from Soquel Creek Water District managers.  While conservation is a key factor in preventing its groundwater basin from being completely depleted, water managers are on the hunt for information on several options for water. 

"Our basin is overdrafted.  We're in a position where we need to come up with or conserve 35 percent over a 20 year period," said Soquel Creek Water District water manager Kim Adamson.

But asking people to conserve even more than they already are isn't easy.  The average Central Coast customer uses 109 gallons per day.  But Soquel Creek said it's customers only use 70 gallons per day.  Some residents at Tuesday night's meeting said the board needs to get more information out to the public on conservation.

"Really a campaign to get to the public with those simple issues that they can install themselves," said a Soquel Creek Water District customer.

The district had been exploring a shared desalination plant with its neighboring water district in the city of Santa Cruz.  But Soquel Creek said  that's been put on the back burner because the process is taking too long.

"Right now the City is going through a community input process where they are looking at all the different options," Adamson said.

So water managers are gathering more information on other potential resources like recycled water or water transfers from local sources like the San Lorenzo River.  Regardless of the end decision, Soquel Creek said it plans to work with the City of Santa Cruz on a viable option.

"I think ultimately whatever comes out of both our processes will be come kind of joint project," Adamson said.

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