Santa Cruz County experienced 3 weeks of steady rain, beginning at Thanksgiving and ending just before Christmas.
No appreciable rain has fallen since then. A friend and I have spent considerable time on the San Lorenzo River, as Steelhead fishermen, (not successful) and river watchers (very successful). There is plenty of water in the San Lorenzo river which the City of Santa Cruz has full rights to harvest over 17 million gallons per day. Since the City water use is currently less than 6.0 Million gallons per day, there is 11 million gallons of extra water available in the San Lorenzo for harvest.
In the 42 days since November 28, 34 days had suitable conditions of river flow for full legal harvest of water (8 days experienced high flow rates, making water harvest difficult). The amount of water that could have been harvested on the other 34 days is over 370 Million gallons.
I did some research last fall with a friend who is an estimator for a major pipeline construction contractor. His estimate for a pipeline from the Felton diversion to Loch Lomond under county roads to the back of the lake is $16 million, a little over $2 Million a mile for 8 miles. His firm would commit two crews and could construct the project in about 6 months, so that it could be completed in one season beginning on May 1st. The engineering and permitting would take additional time, but this region’s contractors and engineers are very skilled at fast track project engineering , construction and I find the prospect of a new dedicated 36” supply line from the San Lorenzo River to Loch Lomond in a short time frame very tantalizing. I am also certain that the estimates of potential yield are low.