Skip to main content

Retired Water Manager Calls for Regional Swap

In an editorial in the Santa Cruz Sentinel on April 25, 2010, retired Santa Cruz Water Production Superintendent, James Bentley, wrote, “The City Council has been swayed into accepting a costly and environmentally unfriendly water solution when another viable and sustainable option exists which could minimize or eliminate the need for desalination.” The option Bentley refers to is the water swap with Soquel Creek District -- sending wet season water to Soquel in exchange for well water during drought.
Bentley participated in discussions of water supply options in the late 90’s that included this option detailed in the Alternative Water Supply Study (2000). That option was dismissed because the City was concerned that it would lose water diversion rights if it re-opened rights negotiations with the state. That concern is no longer an issue because the City has opened negotiations with National Marine Fisheries Service regarding fish habitat. Bentley calls for putting the water swap option back on the table. The following article includes a description of that option.


Making Use of Winter Flows

John Ricker, County Water Resources Division Director, is exploring two options that would make use of winter runoff to recharge aquifers and improve fish habitat in our streams. The first option is to divert water using existing City of Santa Cruz diversion and treatment facilities during high-flow periods in the San Lorenzo River to restore aquifer levels in Scotts Valley. That water would be used to reduce winter groundwater pumping in Scotts Valley and/or be infiltrated  into abandoned quarries to recharge the Santa Margarita Aquifer, where the water is 200 feet below its historic level due to pumping by Scotts Valley. This recharge and in-lieu recharge would increase both groundwater storage and dry season base flow in the San Lorenzo River, improving fish habitat. Another approach in the same area would restore stormwater infiltration in developed, impervious areas of Scotts Valley to increase groundwater storage and reduce storm runoff.

The second option Ricker is exploring is for City of Santa Cruz to send treated surface water during high-flow periods to Soquel Creek Water District. During those periods the District could reduce its pumping of groundwater, thereby allowing the aquifer to recover. This option was considered in a study commissioned by the Santa Cruz Water Department published in 2000.1 That study included the possibility that in return for getting water from Santa Cruz during wet periods, Soquel Creek District would deliver well water to Santa Cruz during droughts. According to the study, “Limited use of the wells by the Soquel Creek Water District during winter periods – when supply could be augmented by the City – should reduce the stress on the aquifer and enhance natural recharge.”
 
Both options would require revision of the City’s water rights to divert water from the San Lorenzo River and possibly the North Coast Streams. Some of those rights date back to pre-1914, when the State didn’t require bypass flows to preserve fish habitat. Consequently, the City has a right to take unlimited water from the North Coast Streams. Its water rights to the San Lorenzo River at the Ocean St. Extension diversion have no minimum bypass flow requirements. Water rights for the Felton Diversion for diversion of high winter flows include minimum bypass requirements, but these may not be adequate, given the increased concern and greater understanding of fish flow requirements. In 2000, the Water Department did not pursue the option of a regional water swap with Soquel Creek District because of a concern that re-opening water rights would allow the State to require significant reductions in summer water diversions. According to Bill Kocher, Santa Cruz Water Department Director, this concern is no longer an issue, since the City has since entered into a process of developing a Habitat Conservation Plan that will modify its water rights to surface streams. 

Despite the fact that the Habitat concerns are no longer at issue, Santa Cruz Water Department has not responded favorably to our request that this option be re-considered. According to Bill Kocher there option is not worth pursuing because the Purisima Aquifer is in overdraft and therefore Soquel Creek District would not be able to export water to Santa Cruz during a drought. Our response is that the agreement between Soquel District and Santa Cruz should include a provision that Soquel would match Santa Cruz’s curtailment during drought years. Then there would certainly be water available to deliver to Santa Cruz. For example, in a drought where Santa Cruz and Soquel are curtailing water use by 20%, Soquel could send 20% of its normal season well water to Santa Cruz. That’s the minimum Santa Cruz would receive. Once the aquifer reaches a level safe from salt-water intrusion, the potential to export water to Santa Cruz could be significantly higher.

Coach Outlet Online

Even though level together with the active

Coach Factory Outlet

economy has brought numerous unexpectedly. This can be the

Coach Outlet Online

cause why Gucci is definitely on the top if your market scene as

Coach Factory Outlet

compared to other famous designer brand already in the market. Chances

Coach Outlet Store Online

are you'll earn every proportions plastic bag by

Coach Outlet Store Online

creating this process structure.Coach Coupons

Coach Factory Online

Experienced only one viewer or maybe the particular battler, all these

Coach Outlet

flash games will certainly assist minimize and convey hue as well as day to day

Coach Outlet

living individuals that could regards plenty.As well as just one single.

louboutins

This sort of christian louboutin shoes amazing model discount louboutins shoes could become all girls greatest option with this cheap christian louboutin shoes period.Along with the special patterns,just about discount christian louboutin shoes every set of purple base footwear can provide christian louboutin discount shoes you a lot more special sensation.Additional new arrivals christian louboutin sneakers so that you can pick.

discount louboutin shoes

The well-known discount louboutin shoes footwear often aid us to help keep vogue craze.It's going to convey you cheap louboutin shoes another emotion for this wintertime.Amzing kinds discount christian louboutin shoes Pumps make countless girls crazed.Hurry as many as get a lot more new christian louboutin daffodile development with it!Our on the cheap Christian Louboutin web store are happy to share by far the most fashional christian louboutin boots expertise for all consumers.Each girl can not assist to get quite a few forms of christian louboutin booties sneakers.

ysl shoes

Each girl motivation to be additional ysl shoes and even more elegant with trend ysl shoes sale sneakers.It can be appropriate time and energy to dress in this type of yves saint laurent 2013 can adorn your elegance a lot more appealing. Realistic price tag and free of charge shipping and delivery to around the globe from discount yves saint laurent outlet shoes outlet, be a part of us to buy yves saint laurent shoes right here.

cheap louboutin

One of the best ways for yourself get noticed in cheap louboutin group is usually to very own beautiful outfits.In this particular christian louboutin boots fashional time, discount louboutin shoes boots grow to be very well known and christian louboutin official website sizzling amongst most ladies.Hot women all need to gown in this particular brand discount louboutin name footwear which often can improve their stylish temperament.So charming style and design price reduction christian louboutin wedding shoes sneakers so that you can go to significant cheap louboutins situation.

jordan 4

Do every thing track of air jordan outlet may let you turn out to be distinctive concentrate.Light-weight style of air jordan 2012 Footwear may bring people much more excellent sensation.Regardless of air jordan 2013 exactly what styles you really liked,our website are happy to supply jordan 4you with competitive cost as well as best wholesale jordan quality.Enjoy more comfy sports activities discount air jordan shoes footwear from jordans wholesale 2012 correct now!

kobe shoes

I believe just about kobe 7all individuals can't miss excellent brand kobe shoes.It is well-known with regard to flexible design kobe shoes as well as attribute fashion.Younger males that kobe vii shoes adore to play sports can attempt on this kind of kobe 7 shoes comfortable design sneakers.Extremely new as well as exquisite kobe vii style associated with kobe shoes 2012 turn out to be essential products with regard to boys to choose kobe system shoes.

Lebron 9 Shoes

It's really indispensable for Lebron 9 Shoes guys to possess a attempt on wonderful brand name Derrick Rose Shoes .Stylish appearance Lebron Shoes james footwear can deliver you much more assured and comfy.As certainly one of Lebron Shoes 2012 fashionable boy,miss such fashional Lebron 9 sneakers can make you out of fashion.Authentic design of Kobe Shoes 2012 can show out more unique temperament.

cheap louboutin

For ladies to discount louboutin shoes boost your temperament,we advise you to definitely opt for discount louboutin Daffodile 160 Strass Platform Pumps Hematite to generate your discount christian louboutin boots want grow to be correct.Charming discount christian louboutin shoes can match with any costume.Motion on our cheap louboutin web page now, we guarantee christian louboutin outlet online absolutely free transport and no tax at discount louboutin pumps on sale.

water diversion and other sources

I've been listening pretty carefully at the public desal meetings, and there were a few things that came up that this article is ignoring, but I think have to be addressed - and some that haven't been mentioned.
-Robert Curry's assessment that the University could supply its own water with wells drilled on Marshall Field was an interesting idea - but the speakers said that the obstacle was mainly political, in that North Coast farmers worried that UCSC's wells would draw from the same sources as theirs, thus depleting or at least reducing their own water supplies - and so the political will to fight them just wasn't there. That has to be addressed directly - if it's true, or countered properly if it's not. It would be a terrific solution.
-I live in the Soquel Water District, which has told customers that about a third of its water is about to be designated unusable because of high Chromium 6 levels.Discouraging in itself, that also means that there would be much less water for the Soquel District to send back to SC if Soquel were to get winter water from SC in an exchange. Another problem with the exchange is the question of storage - speakers stressed that they'd looked at all the available places for storage and none of them were available, do-able politically (like the quarry) or like building a big holding facility on Soquel Creek. So water received from SC during the winter would be used instead of drawing from aquifer water, yes, but it would have to be used right away, not stored, and there's a serious question of whether the recharged aquifer water would be sufficient to both keep out the salt water intrusion and still repay SC, given the third that Chromium will/has ruined.
-Pipelines - where will we get the money for this, and for right-of-ways? What other kinds of changes will be needed in the coming years of climate mess? Maybe all that should be tied together in a single project - changes for piping and storage cooordinated with swaps and planning for growth or lack of.

Thanks, Randa for raising the

Thanks, Randa for raising the issue of chromium 6 in the Soquel Creek Water District wells pumping from the Aromas Aquifer. If this contamination proves serious, it would require expensive treatment to remove the chromium. This certainly compounds an already unsustainable situation.
What we're proposing is a regional collaboration that could include resting Soquel District wells during winter months, making the situation there more sustainable. The potential for reciprocal water to go to Santa Cruz needs to be determined and the chromium 6 studies will have an impact. We need to support Ricker's investigation of this option. Currently the Soquel Creek Water District Board has directed their staff to investigate the options if desalination is not built. We think Santa Cruz needs to do the same. -Rick Longinotti, editor
p.s. The infrastructure for the water-sharing with Soquel Creek District is minimal compared to the cost of building a desalination plant. The lowest cost option would extend pipes from Santa Cruz storage facilities near Dominican Hospital to Soquel, and some new storage tanks in Soquel that could store a day's water usage.