WSAC Recommendations and Next Steps -- October 2015

October 22, 2015

WSAC Recommendations and Next Steps

Conservation-- In addition to the existing conservation programs such as home and business evaluations, water saving rebates, water budgetts for large landscapes and free water-saving devices, the WSAC recommends looking at new programs, such as increased rebates and better management of peak season demand. The goal of additional programs is to further reduce demand by 200 to 250 million gallons per year by 2035, with a particular focus on producing savings during teh peak season.

Strategy One -- Groundwater Storage/In Lieu Water Exchanges and Aquifer Stroage and Recovery (ASR) -- In normal years, the Santa Cruz Water Department (SCWD) receives more rainfall than is needed to meet customer demand or can be stored in Loch Lomond Reservoir. Using In-Lieu water exchanges, available winter flows would be delivered to Soquel Creek Water District (SqCWD) and/or Scotts Valley Water District (SVWD) customers, thus allowing reduced pumping from these regional aquifers and enabling the aquifer to passively rest and recharge. Using ASR, available winter flows would be injected into aquifers through new and existing wells owned by the SCWD, SVWD and/or SqCWD, thereby actively rechargin aquifers. A portion of the water delivered using In-Lieu or ASR would be effectively baned in the aquifers to be extracted and returned to SCWD when needed in future dry years.

Strategy Two -- Advanced Treated Recycled Water or Desalinated Water would be developed as a supplemental supply in teh event the groundwater storage strategies described above prove insufficient to meet the plan's goals of cost-effectiveness, timeliness or yield. If it is determined that recycled water cannot meet our needs, then desalinated seawater would be pursued.

Next Steps -- The WSAC will present its Agreements and Recommendations to the City Council during the Council's October 27 meeting. The Council will receive the report but will not take action at that time. On November 10, the Council and the City's Water Commission will hold a joint study session and take public comment. The City Council is expected to take action on the recommendations during its November 24 meeting.