WSAC Annual Report 2018

Santa Cruz Water Department The Water Supply Advisory Committee

Santa Cruz Water Department
The Water Supply Advisory Committee


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Our Water, Our Future<br />

<strong>2018</strong> ANNUAL REPORT

Dear Resident,<br />

<strong>2018</strong> was a productive year of work on<br />

projects related to securing Santa Cruz’s<br />

water supply.<br />

It’s been three years since the Santa Cruz City<br />

Council approved recommendations made<br />

by the Water Supply Advisory Committee<br />

(<strong>WSAC</strong>) to help ensure that our water supply<br />

is secure and reliable, and in <strong>2018</strong>,<br />

significant progress was made on the<br />

key recommendations.<br />

First a quick recap – the Water Supply<br />

Advisory Committee included 14 Santa Cruz/<br />

Live Oak residents who were appointed by<br />

the City Council in 2014 to address the City’s<br />

water supply challenges. The group met for 18<br />

months and did a deep technical dive into the<br />

City’s water system. The <strong>WSAC</strong> identified the<br />

water supply gap that needs to be filled, and<br />

made several recommendations for potential<br />

ways to meet the gap.<br />

At the end of their process, the <strong>WSAC</strong><br />

recommended that along with increased water<br />

conservation, the City explore the following<br />

elements to supplement water supply:<br />

0 I Increase water conservation<br />

1 I Explore sharing water with other<br />

water districts<br />

2 I Store available winter water in<br />

underground aquifers<br />

3 I Use purified recycled water and<br />

desalinated water to meet the supply gap<br />

The <strong>WSAC</strong> also recommended that the<br />

Water Department study the feasibility of<br />

all recommendations at the same time, so<br />

that by 2020 a fully informed decision can<br />

be made on which recommendation(s) to<br />

implement. This report will update you on<br />

the progress that was made in <strong>2018</strong> to<br />

inform that decision.<br />

Sincerely,<br />

Rosemary Menard, Water Director,<br />

Santa Cruz Water Department<br />


Increased Conservation<br />

Recommendation:<br />

Reduce demand by an additional<br />

200-250 million gallons per year<br />

by 2035 through expanded<br />

water conservation programs.<br />

Did You Know?<br />

0%<br />

Even with projected growth,<br />

water use is expected to remain<br />

flat due to price, conservation,<br />

and new plumbing and<br />

building codes.<br />


0<br />

As a precautionary measure resulting<br />

from the low rainfall and runoff in<br />

the winter of 2017-18, Stage 1 water<br />

restrictions were imposed during the dry<br />

season of <strong>2018</strong>. The following activities<br />

were undertaken to further goals for<br />

water conservation. In <strong>2018</strong>, we:<br />

• Continued to offer a robust suite of<br />

conservation programs including rebate<br />

programs, home water surveys, large<br />

landscape budgets and others.<br />

• Created a new home water use report<br />

program for top single-family residential<br />

customers. The water reports will<br />

provide a comparison of the customer’s<br />

usage pattern to that of similar efficient<br />

households. This program is scheduled<br />

to launch in spring 2019.<br />

• Finished a pilot project to identify<br />

and recover leaks through advanced<br />

water meter technology with a group<br />

of 350 large irrigation meter accounts,<br />

including local community parks<br />

and schools.<br />

• Completed a study of advanced water<br />

meter technology for Santa Cruz.<br />

This study looked at appropriate<br />

technologies as well as the costs and<br />

benefits of implementation.<br />

• Reached the milestone of more than<br />

10,000 clothes washer rebates provided<br />

to customers since the program began<br />

in the year 2000.<br />

• Continued to improve upon the large<br />

landscape water budget program<br />

by introducing new online mapping<br />

technology for customers to view<br />

site maps and suggest edits to their<br />

landscaped areas.<br />

• Followed average residential water use<br />

per capita at 48 gallons per person per<br />

day (among the lowest levels<br />

in California).<br />

• Improved the accuracy of our annual<br />

water loss audit report, which<br />

demonstrates a declining trend in<br />

system leakage in <strong>2018</strong>.<br />


Recommendation:<br />

Explore sharing water with<br />

other water districts (also<br />

known as In Lieu).<br />

4<br />

Develop agreements to deliver<br />

surface water to Soquel Creek<br />

Water District and/or Scotts<br />

Valley Water District so that they<br />

could potentially rest their wells,<br />

help the aquifers recover and<br />

effectively store water for use by<br />

Santa Cruz Water Department<br />

during drought years.<br />

Did You Know?<br />

In-Lieu<br />

Recharge<br />

of aquifers provides water from<br />

another source in lieu of drawing<br />

water from an aquifer, so the<br />

aquifer can rest and recharge.<br />


1<br />

Explore Sharing Water with<br />

Other Water Districts<br />

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

rivers; Soquel Creek and Scotts Valley water supplies are 100% groundwater from<br />

aquifers. The chemistry of surface water and groundwater is different, and may<br />

require different treatment. After two years of analysis to confirm the compatibility of<br />

Santa Cruz surface water and Soquel Creek Water District groundwater, a formal pilot<br />

water-sharing project began on December 3, <strong>2018</strong>. During the pilot, water quality and<br />

groundwater levels where water is no longer being drawn from will be studied.<br />

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

By water districts using surface water in-lieu of using groundwater, aquifers are able<br />

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

supply, water supply may be drawn from recharged aquifers.

Recommendation:<br />

Explore using winter water<br />

from the City’s flowing water<br />

sources to recharge regional<br />

aquifers (also known as Aquifer<br />

Storage and Recovery or ASR).<br />

Use existing infrastructure such<br />

as wells and pipelines, as well<br />

as create new infrastructure, to<br />

store excess water in regional<br />

aquifers that can then be used<br />

by Santa Cruz Water Department<br />

during drought years.<br />

Did You Know?<br />

300 miles<br />

of pipes<br />

The average cost to replace a<br />

mile of water main is $2.2M and<br />

Santa Cruz has over 300 miles of<br />

pipes in the system.<br />


2<br />

Store Available Winter Water<br />

in Underground Aquifers<br />

Much progress was made on ASR in <strong>2018</strong>. Most significantly, an initial set of<br />

groundwater modeling scenarios for the Santa Margarita and Mid-County<br />

groundwater basins were completed, helping to direct ASR efforts to areas where<br />

they might have the most positive impacts on the basins.<br />

Based on the positive results of the modeling, the decision was made to proceed<br />

to Phase 2 of the ASR feasibility study for the Mid-County Groundwater Basin.<br />

Phase 2 includes installing temporary modifications at the Department’s Beltz 12<br />

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

begins in early 2019, while identifying a pilot test location in the Santa Margarita<br />

Basin continues.<br />


Recommendation:<br />

Explore creating a potable<br />

water supply through advanced<br />

treated recycled water options<br />

or by desalination.<br />

Use advanced treated recycled<br />

water to supplement or<br />

replace supply in the event the<br />

groundwater storage strategies<br />

prove insufficient to meet the<br />

cost effectiveness, timeliness<br />

or yield goals of the <strong>WSAC</strong><br />

recommendations plan. In the<br />

event advanced treated recycled<br />

water does not meet the needs,<br />

desalination would supplant<br />

recycled water.<br />


3<br />

Recycled Water and Desal<br />

Advanced treated recycled water and desalination were included in the same element<br />

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

proceed for further evaluation and preliminary design.<br />

At the November 27, <strong>2018</strong>, City Council meeting, the Council supported staff and the<br />

Water Commission’s recommendation to move advanced, treated recycled water<br />

forward as the preferred supplemental supply alternative over desalination. As part<br />

of the Council’s action, staff was authorized to evaluate an expansion of the City’s<br />

Wastewater Treatment Facility’s existing tertiary treatment capacity (water treated<br />

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

as to evaluate additional opportunities to use advanced treated recycled water to<br />

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

variety of desired water quality levels, from near drinking water to irrigation.<br />

Staff is developing work plans to support the Council directives.<br />


Water Supply Advisory Committee<br />

members at the celebratory in-lieu<br />

valve turning in December.<br />

L-R: Rick Longinotti, Greg Pepping, Peter<br />

Beckman, David Stearns, Mike Rotkin, Sarah<br />

Mansergh, Doug Engfer, Erica Stanojevic,<br />

Sue Holt, David Baskin. Not pictured: Dana<br />

Jacobsen, Charlie Keutmann, Mark Mesiti-<br />

Miller, Sid Slatter.<br />

Fast Facts about the Water Department<br />

1916<br />

Established<br />

Laguna Creek, Liddell Spring,<br />

Loch Lomond, Majors Creek, San<br />

Lorenzo River, Tait and Beltz wells<br />

Supply sources<br />

Santa Cruz &<br />

Live Oak<br />

Service area<br />

98K<br />

Population<br />

served<br />

Over 24K<br />

Service connections<br />

113<br />

Employees<br />

2,600M+<br />

Gallons annually<br />

Drinking water produced<br />

300+ miles<br />

(As far as Santa Cruz<br />

to Santa Barbara)<br />

Water mains<br />

Santa Cruz<br />

City Council<br />

Governing body<br />

Loch Lomond<br />

2,800 million gallons, about a<br />

year’s worth of drinking water<br />

Reservoir storage<br />

Water<br />

Commission<br />

Advisory body<br />


Upcoming Meetings<br />

The Water Commission meets on the first Monday of<br />

every month and the public is encouraged to attend.<br />

Meetings are at 7 pm and typically held in City Council<br />

Chambers at 809 Center Street. Visit cityofsantacruz.<br />

com/departments/water/city-water-commission to<br />

confirm the location and preview the agenda.<br />

A joint meeting of the Water Commission and the City<br />

Council will be held on April 23 to update the Council<br />

on progress made on the <strong>WSAC</strong> recommendations.<br />

The meeting will be at 7 pm in City Council Chambers –<br />

809 Center Street.<br />

212 Locust Street<br />

Santa Cruz, CA 95060<br />



PAID<br />


PERMIT NO. 11<br />


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