9 Water Proposals Worth Your Rating

Still haven’t rated the proposals for the future of Santa Cruz’s water supply? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

“Water for Santa Cruz County” is a 19min video overview by Water Aware Founder and Santa Cruz local Scott McGilvray. (Note: this video in no way represents Civinomics opinions or those of its staff). It covers 9 of the most important proposals to come out of the Water Supply Advisory Committee’s process. While there are a total of 57 proposals, these 9 represent some of the most significant concepts, so rate these if you do nothing else. You’ll fulfill your civic duty and learn a lot!

Basics mentioned in the film:

  • Santa Cruz needs an additional 900M gallons/ year 
  • 95,000 acre feet(30,951M gallons) flow through the San Lorenzo Watershed each year. Current total water usage is 16/17% of this total.
  • The proposed Desal Plant has an estimated cost of $115M

terryMcKinneyProposals by Terry McKinney,  Production Superintendent, Santa Cruz Water Department
ranneyCollectors

Ranney Collectors – Supply

Ranney collectors are essentially shallow wells built in a creek or river bed. Capturing water with a Ranney collector would add another tool for managing the lagoon and create a new water supply. Possible sites to target would be Baldwin Creek, Wilder Creek, Moore Creek, and the San Lorenzo River Lagoon. 5 to 8 million gallons of water per day (mgd) per collector.

Estimated Cost: $2.5M per collector

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redundantCapacity

Membrane Filtration Plant for San Lorenzo River Water – Supply

Graham Hill Water Treatment Plant cannot process highly turbid water, therefore the plant switches over to Loch Lomond Reservoir to treat water during rain events. This lowers the amount of water available during the summer. If a membrane filtration plant was installed near the San Lorenzo River, this new plant could treat the highly turbid water and greatly reduce the need for Loch Lomond water. In addition, the Felton Diversion Pump Station could be better utilized for pumping water to the lake. We anticipate over 200 million gallons of new water supply with this option.

Estimated Cost: $39M

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Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 12.19.24 PM
Proposal by Jerry Paul, Systems Engineer
lochquifer

The Lochquifer Alternative – Storage

This proposal would use the Santa Margarita and Purisma Aquifers as water storage by diverting up to 6,000 acre feet (1.9 billion gallons) per year of San Lorenzo River and Zayante Creek winter flows. The treated water would first be pumped to Loch Lomond before being dispensed to the aquifers for longterm storage. The vast recharged aquifers would provide robust long-term drought protection to all mid-County, enhance fish habitat, and stay immune to saline incursion.

Estimated Cost: $52M

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Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 12.50.00 PM
Proposal by JoeBen Bevirt, Local Entrepreneur, Founder of Joby Energy and four other successful startups in the last 10 years
quarries

Build Reservoirs in North Coast QuarriesStorage

Reusing the Liddell and San Vicente limestone quarries as water reservoirs could be a cost effective, environmentally responsible, and aesthetically attractive way to store 3.6 billion gallons and double the water storage capacity of the City of Santa Cruz.

Estimated Cost: $44M

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Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 1.07.31 PM
Proposal by Bill Smallman, Civil Engineer, Director for the Lompico Water District
regionalWater

The Regional Water Auhtority PlanPolicy

This plan would create the Santa Cruz County Water District. It would function identically to the Santa Clara Valley Water District, which is responsible for ground water and wholesale of raw and recycled water to the other water agencies (retailers) in the county of Santa Clara. While it would not produce water directly, this proposal would make it easier for the 6 existing water agencies in Santa Cruz County to work together on large projects such as recycled water and aquifer recharge. Particularly it would enable the construction of a water sharing utility corridor along the Rail Trail.

Estimated Cost: NA – Consolidation of services would require staff time but eliminate redundant positions and lead to greater efficiencies in the long term.

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Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 1.37.08 PM
Proposals by Paul Gratz, Longtime Santa Cruz resident, community organizer and co-author of the City’s Measure P “The Right to Vote on Desalination” Charter Amendment
golfCourses

Use Available Recycled Water to Irrigate Santa Cruz Golf CoursesRecycled Water 

Utilize excess recycled water from the Scotts Valley tertiary wastewater treatment plant to provide year round irrigation for both of Santa Cruz’s golf courses. Currently, surplus water is discharged through the ocean outfall at the City’s Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility. Scotts Valley plant management is actively seeking potential regional customers for its approved and affordably priced recycled water. Pasatiempo’s annual water demand is approximately 30-45 million gallons and the DeLaveaga Golf Course along with the adjacent park use ranges from 40-55 million gallons. Total usage between both golf courses: 100 million gallons.

Estimated Cost: TBD – further study is needed to determine the cost of a pipeline to distribute the recycled water to these golf courses.

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watershed

Fund Watershed Restoration – Policy

The City should conduct a cost/benefit analysis of funding storm water infiltration projects in groundwater recharge zones. This would include both:

1. Investing in “low-impact development”, that is, renovation of streets, parking lots, etc. to allow storm water to recharge the groundwater.

2. Employ youth (and others) to restore old logging roads, repair riparian zones, and partner with schools to do restoration work.

Estimated Cost: TBD – Requires further study

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Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 2.11.52 PMProposal by Dana Ripley, Principal at Ripley Pacific Company, two decades experience in developing water supply and water reuse plans
RCGE

Recycled Water / North Coast Groundwater Exchange – Recycled Water

This option includes two separate construction projects. The first is a 4-5 million gallon per day tertiary wastewater treatment plant, and associated facilities to deliver that water to North Coast farmers for irrigation purposes. In all years, the farmers would use reclaimed water rather than groundwater to irrigate their fields. In return, the City would get access to the groundwater supplies currently being used by the farmers. The second City construction project would involve the wells and associated facilities necessary to extract this groundwater. Based on limited information, the 2003 IWP assumes an annual yield from this source of 700 million gallons.

Estimated Cost: $50M

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Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 8.13.52 PMProposal by Sustainable Water Coalition of Santa Cruz, Our Supporters
desalination

Desalination: A truly reliable water supply for Santa Cruz

A regional desalination plant should be considered as one option to provide a reliable, drought-proof water supply for our region. Desalination has undergone more thorough study and review by the City and Soquel Creek Water than any other option. It is the only solution that provides a reliable new source of water that does not depend on rainfall. Desal would be net carbon neutral, with no significant environmental impacts on sea water and marine life, and pump stations could be located on the desal plant site away from neighborhoods. The joint desalination plant could produce 2.5 million gallons per day, 912 million gallons per year of potable water.

Estimated Cost: $115M

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Feel like going the distance? View all 57 proposals, including many more on conservation, recycled water and other topics at civ.io/santacruzwater.

10 Comments

  1. […] Good idea, since California is suffering an unprecedented drought and Santa Cruz County needs an additional 900 million gallons of water a year. But what kind of people are throwing out potential […]

  2. […] Good idea, since California is suffering an unprecedented drought and Santa Cruz County needs an additional 900 million gallons of water a year. But what kind of people are throwing out potential […]

  3. […] Good idea, since California is suffering an unprecedented drought and Santa Cruz County needs an additional 900 million gallons of water a year. But what kind of people are throwing out potential […]

  4. […] Good idea, since California is suffering an unprecedented drought and Santa Cruz County needs an additional 900 million gallons of water a year. But what kind of people are throwing out potential […]

  5. […] Good idea, since California is suffering an unprecedented drought and Santa Cruz County needs an additional 900 million gallons of water a year. But what kind of people are throwing out potential […]

  6. […] Good idea, since California is suffering an unprecedented drought and Santa Cruz County needs an additional 900 million gallons of water a year. But what kind of people are throwing out potential […]

  7. […] Good idea, since California is suffering an unprecedented drought and Santa Cruz County needs an additional 900 million gallons of water a year. But what kind of people are throwing out potential […]

  8. […] Good idea, since California is suffering an unprecedented drought and Santa Cruz County needs an additional 900 million gallons of water a year. But what kind of people are throwing out potential […]

  9. […] Good idea, since California is suffering an unprecedented drought and Santa Cruz County needs an additional 900 million gallons of water a year. But what kind of people are throwing out potential […]

  10. […] Good idea, since California is suffering an unprecedented drought and Santa Cruz County needs an additional 900 million gallons of water a year. But what kind of people are throwing out potential […]

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