WSAC Annual Report 2018

Santa Cruz Water Department The Water Supply Advisory Committee

Santa Cruz Water Department
The Water Supply Advisory Committee


You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

Our Water, Our Future


Dear Resident,

2018 was a productive year of work on

projects related to securing Santa Cruz’s

water supply.

It’s been three years since the Santa Cruz City

Council approved recommendations made

by the Water Supply Advisory Committee

(WSAC) to help ensure that our water supply

is secure and reliable, and in 2018,

significant progress was made on the

key recommendations.

First a quick recap – the Water Supply

Advisory Committee included 14 Santa Cruz/

Live Oak residents who were appointed by

the City Council in 2014 to address the City’s

water supply challenges. The group met for 18

months and did a deep technical dive into the

City’s water system. The WSAC identified the

water supply gap that needs to be filled, and

made several recommendations for potential

ways to meet the gap.

At the end of their process, the WSAC

recommended that along with increased water

conservation, the City explore the following

elements to supplement water supply:

0 I Increase water conservation

1 I Explore sharing water with other

water districts

2 I Store available winter water in

underground aquifers

3 I Use purified recycled water and

desalinated water to meet the supply gap

The WSAC also recommended that the

Water Department study the feasibility of

all recommendations at the same time, so

that by 2020 a fully informed decision can

be made on which recommendation(s) to

implement. This report will update you on

the progress that was made in 2018 to

inform that decision.


Rosemary Menard, Water Director,

Santa Cruz Water Department


Increased Conservation


Reduce demand by an additional

200-250 million gallons per year

by 2035 through expanded

water conservation programs.

Did You Know?


Even with projected growth,

water use is expected to remain

flat due to price, conservation,

and new plumbing and

building codes.



As a precautionary measure resulting

from the low rainfall and runoff in

the winter of 2017-18, Stage 1 water

restrictions were imposed during the dry

season of 2018. The following activities

were undertaken to further goals for

water conservation. In 2018, we:

• Continued to offer a robust suite of

conservation programs including rebate

programs, home water surveys, large

landscape budgets and others.

• Created a new home water use report

program for top single-family residential

customers. The water reports will

provide a comparison of the customer’s

usage pattern to that of similar efficient

households. This program is scheduled

to launch in spring 2019.

• Finished a pilot project to identify

and recover leaks through advanced

water meter technology with a group

of 350 large irrigation meter accounts,

including local community parks

and schools.

• Completed a study of advanced water

meter technology for Santa Cruz.

This study looked at appropriate

technologies as well as the costs and

benefits of implementation.

• Reached the milestone of more than

10,000 clothes washer rebates provided

to customers since the program began

in the year 2000.

• Continued to improve upon the large

landscape water budget program

by introducing new online mapping

technology for customers to view

site maps and suggest edits to their

landscaped areas.

• Followed average residential water use

per capita at 48 gallons per person per

day (among the lowest levels

in California).

• Improved the accuracy of our annual

water loss audit report, which

demonstrates a declining trend in

system leakage in 2018.



Explore sharing water with

other water districts (also

known as In Lieu).


Develop agreements to deliver

surface water to Soquel Creek

Water District and/or Scotts

Valley Water District so that they

could potentially rest their wells,

help the aquifers recover and

effectively store water for use by

Santa Cruz Water Department

during drought years.

Did You Know?



of aquifers provides water from

another source in lieu of drawing

water from an aquifer, so the

aquifer can rest and recharge.



Explore Sharing Water with

Other Water Districts

Ninety-five percent of Santa Cruz’s water supply is surface water, from creeks and

rivers; Soquel Creek and Scotts Valley water supplies are 100% groundwater from

aquifers. The chemistry of surface water and groundwater is different, and may

require different treatment. After two years of analysis to confirm the compatibility of

Santa Cruz surface water and Soquel Creek Water District groundwater, a formal pilot

water-sharing project began on December 3, 2018. During the pilot, water quality and

groundwater levels where water is no longer being drawn from will be studied.

You can think of water exchanges/in-lieu as “banking” water for use in the future.

By water districts using surface water in-lieu of using groundwater, aquifers are able

to rest and recharge with water. Then, during dry times when surface water is in short

supply, water supply may be drawn from recharged aquifers.


Explore using winter water

from the City’s flowing water

sources to recharge regional

aquifers (also known as Aquifer

Storage and Recovery or ASR).

Use existing infrastructure such

as wells and pipelines, as well

as create new infrastructure, to

store excess water in regional

aquifers that can then be used

by Santa Cruz Water Department

during drought years.

Did You Know?

300 miles

of pipes

The average cost to replace a

mile of water main is $2.2M and

Santa Cruz has over 300 miles of

pipes in the system.



Store Available Winter Water

in Underground Aquifers

Much progress was made on ASR in 2018. Most significantly, an initial set of

groundwater modeling scenarios for the Santa Margarita and Mid-County

groundwater basins were completed, helping to direct ASR efforts to areas where

they might have the most positive impacts on the basins.

Based on the positive results of the modeling, the decision was made to proceed

to Phase 2 of the ASR feasibility study for the Mid-County Groundwater Basin.

Phase 2 includes installing temporary modifications at the Department’s Beltz 12

wellsite, as well as permitting and pilot testing. Pilot testing in the Mid-County Basin

begins in early 2019, while identifying a pilot test location in the Santa Margarita

Basin continues.



Explore creating a potable

water supply through advanced

treated recycled water options

or by desalination.

Use advanced treated recycled

water to supplement or

replace supply in the event the

groundwater storage strategies

prove insufficient to meet the

cost effectiveness, timeliness

or yield goals of the WSAC

recommendations plan. In the

event advanced treated recycled

water does not meet the needs,

desalination would supplant

recycled water.



Recycled Water and Desal

Advanced treated recycled water and desalination were included in the same element

(Element 3) with the intention that, following feasibility-level work, just one would

proceed for further evaluation and preliminary design.

At the November 27, 2018, City Council meeting, the Council supported staff and the

Water Commission’s recommendation to move advanced, treated recycled water

forward as the preferred supplemental supply alternative over desalination. As part

of the Council’s action, staff was authorized to evaluate an expansion of the City’s

Wastewater Treatment Facility’s existing tertiary treatment capacity (water treated

to a tertiary level is suitable for irrigation and other outdoor supply needs), as well

as to evaluate additional opportunities to use advanced treated recycled water to

supplement the City’s water supply. Advanced treatment can be used to achieve a

variety of desired water quality levels, from near drinking water to irrigation.

Staff is developing work plans to support the Council directives.


Water Supply Advisory Committee

members at the celebratory in-lieu

valve turning in December.

L-R: Rick Longinotti, Greg Pepping, Peter

Beckman, David Stearns, Mike Rotkin, Sarah

Mansergh, Doug Engfer, Erica Stanojevic,

Sue Holt, David Baskin. Not pictured: Dana

Jacobsen, Charlie Keutmann, Mark Mesiti-

Miller, Sid Slatter.

Fast Facts about the Water Department



Laguna Creek, Liddell Spring,

Loch Lomond, Majors Creek, San

Lorenzo River, Tait and Beltz wells

Supply sources

Santa Cruz &

Live Oak

Service area




Over 24K

Service connections




Gallons annually

Drinking water produced

300+ miles

(As far as Santa Cruz

to Santa Barbara)

Water mains

Santa Cruz

City Council

Governing body

Loch Lomond

2,800 million gallons, about a

year’s worth of drinking water

Reservoir storage



Advisory body


Upcoming Meetings

The Water Commission meets on the first Monday of

every month and the public is encouraged to attend.

Meetings are at 7 pm and typically held in City Council

Chambers at 809 Center Street. Visit cityofsantacruz.

com/departments/water/city-water-commission to

confirm the location and preview the agenda.

A joint meeting of the Water Commission and the City

Council will be held on April 23 to update the Council

on progress made on the WSAC recommendations.

The meeting will be at 7 pm in City Council Chambers –

809 Center Street.

212 Locust Street

Santa Cruz, CA 95060







Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!