Water conservation

Why there is no “creek” in the Soquel Creek Watershed District


Here, halfway up the coast, many people know that the Soquel Creek Water District provides clean, high-quality drinking water to residents of Aptos, La Selva Beach, Opal Cliffs, Rio Del Mar, Seascape, Soquel and parts of Capitola.

But many may not realize that – despite the district’s name – the Soquel Creek Water District – does not derive this water from its namesake. Not a drop!

In fact, the district’s only source of drinking water is the Santa Cruz Central County Groundwater Basin, not Soquel Creek. This underground basin is also shared with the city of Santa Cruz, the Central Water District, small water mutuals and several thousand private well owners.

Map of the Central Santa Cruz County Groundwater Basin showing the boundaries of the Groundwater Basin as well as all users of the Basin.

(Soquel Creek Water District)

So why give the District the name of Soquel Creek? Formed in 1961, the District was started primarily as a local flood control agency. Originally, it focused on the Soquel Creek drainage area, which flows from the hills to the ocean, where Capitola State Beach is now located.

Ken Izant standing with the original district plaque at the district office.  Ken was chairman of the board from 1961 to 1983.

Ken Izant standing with the original district plaque at the district office. Ken was chairman of the board from 1961 to 1983.

(Soquel Creek Water District)

This happened after unusually heavy rains in late 1955 severely flooded Soquel Creek, causing significant damage to unincorporated communities along the creek and in Capitola (as well as part of Santa Cruz). The equipment and facilities of the small Monterey Bay Water Company that served the area were also damaged.

This flooding led to the formation of the Soquel Creek County Watershed District (later the term “county” was dropped). His early work on flood control is a much longer story! But suffice it to say that the district quickly evolved (starting with the purchase of the Monterey Bay Water Company) into a supplier of drinking water to the growing community.

The original District logo.

The original District logo.

(Soquel Creek Water District)

Today, through our 16 active groundwater wells, we pump nearly 3 million gallons of fresh water every day, serving approximately 41,000 residents. In addition to 21,000 households, our customers include businesses, schools, churches, government offices, parks, and more.

This flooding led to the formation of the Soquel Creek County Watershed District (later the term “county” was dropped). His early work on flood control is a much longer story! But suffice it to say that the district quickly evolved (starting with the purchase of the Monterey Bay Water Company) into a supplier of drinking water to the growing community.

The granite well.

The newest groundwater production well, the Granite Way Well.

(Soquel Creek Water District)

Today, through our 16 active groundwater wells, we pump nearly 3 million gallons of fresh water every day, serving approximately 41,000 residents. In addition to 21,000 households, our customers include businesses, schools, churches, government offices, parks, and more.

The Cornwell District <a class=water storage tank can hold up to 500,000 gallons of water.” srcset=”https://lookout.brightspotcdn.com/dims4/default/681e987/2147483647/strip/true/crop/4000×3000+0+0/resize/1680×1260!/quality/90/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flookout-local-brightspot.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fe4%2F7a%2F8ecb52c94115a98459cc9f947e9b%2Fcornwell-storage-tank.jpg 2x” width=”840″ height=”630″/>

The Cornwell District water storage tank can hold up to 500,000 gallons of water.

(Soquel Creek Water District)

A team of nearly 50 employees is dedicated to the District’s mission of providing a safe, high-quality, reliable and sustainable water supply to meet the current and future needs of the community, in an environmentally responsible manner and economically responsible.

But providing that water is more than just pumping and delivering it. In addition to the core business of operating and maintaining our water distribution systems, district staff include people responsible for water conservation and education programs, customer service, financial services and commercial, human resources and special projects / communications.

Roy Sikes, Conservation Specialist.

Conservation specialist Roy Sikes makes free home and business calls on Water Wise for customers in the district to help them use water more efficiently indoors and outdoors.

(Soquel Creek Water District)

In addition, the core responsibility of the district is to explore additional water supplies to ensure a sustainable water supply for the future health and vitality of the community.

This is important because the State of California has designated the central Santa Cruz County groundwater basin as “critical open,” which means that we are pumping more water than the basin can naturally replenish. precipitation. This causes both a scarcity of available water (especially during a drought) and seawater moving inland and contaminating our only water supply. In fact, seawater intrusion has been documented at several locations in the groundwater basin and continues to move inland.

District education and outreach officials at an event.

The district has a strong education and awareness program and is present in the community and participates in events throughout the year.

(Soquel Creek Water District)

The district is exploring several options to address this issue with the community plan, a proposed route to a reliable water supply. Visit the neighborhood website for more information on related programs and projects that could impact your future water supply.


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