Melanie Mow Schumacher and Ron Duncan of the Soquel Creek Water District (SCWD) were guests on the local BayToBayPodcast this week, to discuss the Pure Water Soquel Project. Melanie is the SCWD Special Projects Communication Manager, and Ron is the general manager. Pure Water Soquel is a project that aims to recycle water for Soquel Creek Water District customers, to both increase supply and also to stop or reverse saltwater intrusion into our aquifers.
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This past December, the board of directors of the Soquel Creek Water District voted to approve the EIR (Environmental Impact Report) for the project and it is now officially moving forward. The aquifers that SCWD draws on are critically overdrafted – in fact, we have one of only 20-ish groundwater basins out of 500 in California that are designated as such by the State government.
Being in a state of overdraft is a big problem hereabouts, because it means that salt water is intruding into our fresh water supply. This threatens to make our groundwater undrinkable, and that would be an unmitigated disaster for the Aptos community.
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The Pure Water Soquel project aims to address this overdraft by adding about 30% of the daily consumption of the aquifer back through recycling water. The plan calls for recycled water from the city of Santa Cruz Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility to be purified and pumped back down into the aquifer and thus back into the supply. This should push out the seawater and help to make the aquifer sustainable again – which it hasn’t been, for 50 years or more.
It’s a fascinating discussion about our water basin and how this new project an help sustain it for the long term. Please listen to and share the podcast with your fellow Soquel Creek Water District customers!