November has seen several significant developments in regional water supply solutions:
1. SqCWD received a $50 million grant and approval for $38 million in low interest loans, providing a big boost for its “Pure Water Soquel”project.
2. Santa Cruz city council approved modifications to its water supply plan that will allow the city to concentrate on aquifer storage and recovery in the Purisima Ground Water Basin. Importantly, the modifications also postpone decisions on capital intensive solutions and strategically and prudently buy time in order to gather much better information on the effects of climate change on the Santa Cruz watersheds.
The grant to SqCWD should allow the district to revise its plan. Pure Water Soquel is scheduled to begin construction in March 2020 and be completed in 2022. So Its plan including a revised detailed budget and updated schedule will presumably be developed and be publicly available very soon. Rate payers in the district are hoping to learn that their water rates will be reduced as a benefit of the $50 million grant.
These developments strengthen and solidify the direction these two agencies have been pursuing for some time.
AS WFSSC, OUR ROLE OF PARTICIPATION, OVERSIGHT AND PUBLIC INFORMATION ALSO CONTINUES AS WE COLLECTIVELY ENTER THIS NEXT PHASE.