The Soquel Creek Water District ceremonially broke ground on a pilot well that will be used to determine recharge and extraction capacity of the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Basin. Once operational, the well data will help the District better understand how the aquifer can be replenished to prevent seawater contamination with the goal of developing a system of recharge wells to protect the groundwater basin and prevent further seawater intrusion.
The well site is located on the Twin Lakes Church property in Aptos. The ceremony marked the official start of work on this important well, as a small crowd of invited stakeholders, project participants, and various involved agency staff joined in the celebration of this milestone.
Speakers at the event included John Laird, former California Secretary for Natural Resources, Mark Spurlock, Executive Pastor of Twin Lakes Church, Dr. Tom LaHue, Chair, Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency and President of the District’s Board of Directors, Ron Duncan, District General Manager, and Taj Dufour, District Engineering Manager.
“We are in a new era of cooperation and a new era when people realize that we have to rely on each other when you are right next to each other, another thing this project represents,” said John Laird, former California Secretary of Natural Resources.
In his remarks, Executive Pastor Mark Spurlock expressed appreciation for the collaboration between Twin Lakes Church and for the pilot project, “We applaud this step in the direction of protecting our groundwater supply, this precious resource. We applaud the hard work that this District and the staff has put into making something like this a reality. We as a church are excited to have a role in something that we believe to be a blessing to our community.”
This seawater intrusion/recharge pilot well is expected to begin operation in late spring, and will use potable water drawn from the District’s water supply. The total estimated cost of this pilot well project is $1.1 million. Funding for the project is provided through Proposition 1– the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 through an agreement with the State Water Resources Control Board.
The Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Basin — the District’s sole source of drinking water for its community — is in a state of critical overdraft with seawater intrusion and contamination occurring at the coastline. To address this situation, the District has been exploring ways to protect and increase the sustainability of the groundwater supply.
The Soquel Creek Water District is a nonprofit, local government agency that provides water resource management within its service area to deliver a safe and reliable supply of high-quality water to meet present and future needs in an environmentally sensitive and economically responsible way.
For more information: https://www.soquelcreekwater.org