In the News

Water Use Down in July, Conservation Still Desperately Needed
Although Soquel Creek Water District customers used less water last month, there is still a massive shortage.

Capitola-Soquel Patch, 8/9/12

Soquel Creek Water District customers used slightly less water in July compared to the average since 2009. While this falls short of the District’s five percent reduction goal, it is an improvement over May and June when water use increased three to four percent over the average.

Due to low rainfall this year, the Soquel Creek Water District declared a “Water Shortage Alert” asking customers to voluntarily reduce water use five percent from May through October. This averages out to each customer saving about five gallons of water per day.

The Soquel Creek Water District relies solely on groundwater, pumped with wells from underground aquifers, to provide water to its 38,000 customers from Capitola to La Selva Beach. The aquifers are replenished by rainwater soaking into the ground. Conserving an extra five percent during the dry months, when outdoor water use increases, helps protect the aquifers from the effects of drought.

The District provides rebates, water-wise house calls and free water saving devices to its customers. It also requires the use of positive shut-off hose nozzles, sprinkler use only between 8:00 p.m. and 10 a.m. and prevention of water waste from over-irrigation.

A short-term drought is not the only challenge facing our area’s water supply. Recent information from hydrologists confirms that the aquifers underlying the Soquel-Aptos area are already critically low, and a 37 percent reduction in groundwater pumping over 20 years is needed to “heal” the aquifers and prevent seawater intrusion.

The District is working to find solutions through increased conservation efforts and by seeking supplemental water supplies, including the possibility of a desalination program in partnership with the City of Santa Cruz. The City of Santa Cruz Water Department also declared a Water Shortage Alert asking customers to reduce water use by five percent through October.

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