At 11:30 a.m., the Red gate valve connecting Santa Cruz Water Department and the Soquel Creek Water District was opened and water began to flow to Soquel Creek from Santa Cruz for the first time since the installation of the intertie was completed three years ago. 1200 gallons per minute flow to Soquel Creek; water that is provided by Santa Cruz North Coast stream water rights and treated at the Graham Hill Water Treatment plant.

The water supplied by Santa Cruz allows the Soquel Creek Water District to rest the wells and resting the wells permits the Aquifer to recharge naturally.

Santa Cruz has an extra 500 million gallons in Loch Lomond and the rainy season has begun. It is possible that these water transfers could continue well into May, if we have an average winter.

Water produced at the Graham Hill Water Treatment plant from surplus supplies costs $500 per million gallons to produce. If Pure Water Soquel were built, one million gallons would cost at least $10,000 per million gallons, so the surplus water from Santa Cruz is a very attractive cost proposition.

See more photos here. Use PIN 9592 to download. We just ask that your credit “Jules Holdsworth Photography” anytime you use these images.

Don’t miss Turning on the Taps, front page article by Jessica York, Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Photos by Jules Holdsworth