Project Phases- Milestones of  Activities & Studies

Current  Activities

  • Environmental Review of the proposed project is underway.  The draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was released on May 13, 2013.  For more information, click here.


Date Milestone
May 2013 Release of the Draft EIR
November 2012 Passage of MeasureP formalizes charter amendment for voter approval for desalination plant construction
October 2012 Preliminary Design Report for the scwd2 Regional Seawater Desalination Plant (Report)
September 18, 2012 Soquel Creek Water District's 2012 Integrated Resources Plan Update re-affirms scwd2 Desalination Project as preferred supplemental supply alternative
February 13,2012 City of Santa Cruz adopts ordinance to require voter approval for desalination plant construction
February 2012 City of Santa Cruz and Soquel Creek Water District both commit to making desal project net-carbon neutral
December 8, 2011 Community Informational Meeting: Energy Issues related to Desalination
November 2011 Final Report for the SWRCB for the Prop 50 Integrated Regional Water Management Grant for scwd2 Intake Studies (Report)
September 2011 scwd2 Intake Technical Feasibility Report (Report)
August 2011 Dilution Analysis for Brine Disposal via Ocean Outfall TM
April 2011 Final Report for the Prop 50 Grant: Test Technology Innovations and Optimize Systems in the City of Santa Cruz Pilot Plant
March 11, 2011 Launched Facebook Page
December 8, 2010 Two EIR Scoping Meetings
December 2010 Open Ocean Intake Effects Study (Report)
November 12, 2010 Community Informational Meeting: Marine Issues and Env. Review Process 
August 2011 Dilution Analysis for Brine Disposal via Ocean Outfall TM
September 23,2010 Community Informational Meeting: Recycled Water
September 2010 California Department of Public Health sent a letter accepting the pilot plant protocols (monitoring data and watershed evaluation) if the abandoned wastewater outfall is used as the intake
August 2010 Offshore Geophysical Report (Report)
July 28, 2010 Community Informational Meeting: History of Water  
July 2010 Watershed Sanitary Survey (Report)
May 27, 2010 Community Informational Meeting: Water Conservation 
April 2010 scwd2 Seawater Reverse Osmosis Desalination Pilot Test Program Report
September 2009 Community Meeting on the Integrated Water Plan and SWRO Pilot Program
April 2009 Informational Meeting on the Pilot Plant’s Findings
April 2009 Completion and Close of the Pilot Plant
February 2009 Taste Test Event
January 2009 Began Monthly scwd2 Email Update
November 2009 Open House Event for Pilot Plant
March 2008-April 2009 Daily Seymour Center Tours and Monthly Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Pilot Plant
March 2008 Grand Opening Event for Pilot Plant
July 2007 Pilot Plant Groundbreaking Event
March 2007 scwd2 Joint Task Force created

Past Outreach Activities

Meetings related to the Environmental Review
  • Two public hearings were held on the Draft EIR:  June 3, 2013 and July 1, 2013
  • Joint Special Study Session was held on May 7, 2013
  • Two scoping meetings were held on December 8, 2010 
Community Informational Meetings
  • Community Informational Meetings were held throughout 2009 and 2011. 
    • Understanding Energy and Climate Impacts (December 2011)
    • Marine Issues and Environmental Review Process (November 2010)
    • Recycled Water (September 2010)
    • History of Water Planning (July 2010)
    • Water Conservation (May 2010)
    • Pilot Plant Informational Meetings (April and September 2009)
  • Informational Meetings during Pilot Plant (April 22 and September 24, 2009). 
  • For a list of small groups and community meetings, click here

Pilot Plant Events and Tours

  • Monthly Public Tours of the Pilot Plant: Monthly tours of the pilot plant were led through the pilot plant during the 13-months of testing.  Approximately 15-30 people attended each of the one hour tours to learn more about desalination technology and the water supply issues for Soquel Creek Water District and City of Santa Cruz. 
  • AWWA Tour and Presentation:  A tour and presentation was held on April 8, 2009 for AWWA's CA/NV Spring Conference.
  • Open House:  An Open House was held on November 8, 2008 for the community to tour the pilot plant, meet with the Engineers, Operators, and City/District Officials, and learn about the data collected thus far.  Approximately 150 came to the event.
  • Grand Opening Event:  A grand Opening Event was held in March 2008 to launch the 12-month pilot plant study.

  • Pilot Plant Groundbreaking:  The City of Santa Cruz and Soquel Creek Water District broke ground for construction of a seawater reverse osmosis desalination pilot test plant located at UC Santa Cruz's Long Marine Laboratory in July 2007. 

Bruce Daniels, president of Soquel Creek Water District’s Board of Directors and a member of the Task Force, stated: “Both agencies have identified desalination as the best option, in combination with water conservation and curtailment (temporary water use restrictions), to preserve groundwater supplies and deliver a flexible and reliable water source during drought periods.”

pilot plant ground breaking

Dan Kriege, Bruce Daniels, and Ed Porter of the scwd2 Desalination Task Force,
break ground at the site of the new Pilot Plant located at UC Santa Cruz’s Long Marine Laboratory.

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