Historical Timeline



  • A 2-minute time-lapse of the construction at the Water Purification Center was made available for construction that occurred February-September 2022.
  • Pure Water Soquel Receives $26.5 Million in Additional State Funding from Prop 1 on October 3, 2022 [press release]
  • The international launch of Pure Water Soquel – One of Only 16 Projects Worldwide in ‘Beneath the Surface: The Journey of Water' film series created by BBC Storyworks for the International Water Association on September 22, 2022. [press release]
  • Soquel Creek Water District received the Award of Distinction in Branding for its Pure Water Soquel Butterfly Logo and Water Transformed tagline by the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) on August 30, 2022. [press release]
  • Soquel Creek Water District awarded $21 Million Federal "WaterSMART" grant for Pure Water Soquel from the US Bureau of Reclamation on August 18, 2022   
  • City of Santa Cruz Non-Potable Reuse Engineering Report (Final) is submitted to the State (August 2022)
  • The District Board approved the bid award to McGuire and Hester for the SWIP Well Equipping on June 21, 2022
  • An article "Transforming Water: Pure Water Soquel Embraces One Water Approach" was published in Water Finance and Management Magazine on June 20, 2022
  • The 2022 Pure Water Soquel High School Video Contest Award Winners were announced on June 8, 2022
  • The Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency was selected as a recipient for a $7.6 million grant for the implementation of its Basin Groundwater Sustainability Plan. Projects funded by the grant include the relocation of coastal wells, increased aquifer injection to improve groundwater supplies, and groundwater and hydraulic modeling needed for informed sustainable groundwater management.
  • The WY 2021 Annual Report for the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency (MGA)'s Groundwater Sustainability Plan was submitted to the State on April 1, 2022


  • Treatment facilities broke ground with ceremonial event on December 10, 2021.
  • Monitoring wells began construction on October 14, 2021.
  • Phase 2 Treatment Facilities Construction project was approved by the Board on October 5, 2021 with Black and Veatch, Construction Inc.
  • 2021 EIR Addendum was approved by the Board on October 5, 2021.
  • SWIP Wells construction was completed in July 2021
  • CA approves Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency's Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) on June 3, 2021. Pure Water Soquel is included in the GSP.
  • The District Board approved the bid award to Maggoria Brothers Drilling, Inc. for the monitoring wells on June 1, 2021
  • PWS Conveyance Project breaks ground on May 24, 2021.
  • The WY 2020 Annual Report for the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency (MGA)'s Groundwater Sustainability Plan was submitted to the State  by April 1
  • The District Board approved the PWS conveyance infrastructure project on March 16, 2021, with Garney Pacific Inc., the Design-Builder (with Kennedy-Jenks).



  • District selected for $50M Prop 1 Grant and $36M Seawater Intrusion Control low-interest loan (1.3% rate) from the State of California (PDF)
  • District was chosen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to submit an application for a $49 million low-interest loan through its Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (Wi-FiA) loan program. Read Factsheet from EPA
  • District releases RFQ for OMAR Professional Services of the Pure Water Soquel Program
  • District releases RFQ for Progressive Design-Build (PDB) Services for the Treatment Facilities Project of the Pure Water Soquel Program
  • District releases RFQ for Progressive Design-Build Services for the Conveyance Project of the Pure Water Soquel Program.
  • On August 22, 2019, District held an outreach session to DBE/SBE vendors (PDF) regarding the Pure Water Soquel projects.
  • The city of Santa Cruz presents findings on April 1 to its Water Commission and former Water Supply Advisory Committee that "none of the options [river water transfer] considered can the City reliably provide the full amount of what Soquel Creek has identified as what is needed to meet its goal of protecting the aquifer from the threat of seawater intrusion." This supports river water transfers with the City of Santa Cruz cannot completely replace the need for purified recycled water as a reliable, drought-proof, climate-resilient option for the District. (April 1 -  Attachment 4 (PDF))
  • Update to the District Board on Coordination Efforts with the City of Santa Cruz and Board advances plan to split treatment: tertiary treatment at the Santa Cruz Wastewater Facility and advanced purification at Chanticleer Avenue (March 5 Board item (PDF) and April 16 Board item (PDF)) and Sentinel Article
  • Presentation to the Board on March 5 (PDF) regarding groundwater modeling results to optimize Pure Water Soquel to meet SGMA sustainability goals
  • City of Santa Cruz Tertiary Membrane Pilot Project Wins 2018 Engineering Achievement Award (Press release)


  • The District Board of Directors certified the EIR and approved the Project at the December 18, 2018 Board meeting. Read the Press Release.
  • SWRCB adopts Resolution Number 2018-0057 amending the Recycled Water Policy (PDF). The Amendment will take effect once approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). New goal related to Pure Water Soquel: the inclusion to 'Maximize the use of recycled water in areas where groundwater supplies are in a state of overdraft'
  • Responses to Comments Document (PDF) provided to commenting agencies, posted on District website, and notified other commenters. (December 7)
  • Lease Agreement (PDF) with Twin Lakes Church. Plans and Specs for Twin Lakes Church Pilot Well
  • District receives an invitation to submit a formal proposal for Prop 1 Groundwater Grant (Round 2).
  • Twin Lakes Church Pilot Recharge Well Project - Initial Study Draft/Mitigated Negative Declaration noticed on September 12
  • District receives National Recognition - '2018 Award of Excellence in Outreach and Education for its Mobile Educational Trailer
  • Technical Memo (PDF) on 'Estimating Benefits of the Pure Water Soquel Project' by Dr. Brent Haddad and Bryan Pratt, D. Candidate. (1-page handout (PDF))
  • Tertiary Membrane Pilot Plant operates at SC Wastewater Treatment Facility (May to August)
  • Draft Environmental Impact Report is released June 29 with a 45-day comment period ending August 13.
  • "10 Minutes with Ron Duncan and Melanie Mow Schumacher" highlights Pure Water Soquel on BC News (July 2, 2018)
  • District opens Learning Center which highlights the Community Water Plan and Proposed Pure Water Soquel Project.
  • District awarded $2M Planning Grant, from SCRCB Prop 1 Groundwater Program. Check out the list of recipients and the Press Release.


  • District Board accepts the Final Feasibility Study on November 7, 2017. This study, submitted to the State Water Resources Control Board and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, includes an evaluation of the various options and alternatives of the Pure Water Soquel project.
  • District receives the NWRI Final Panel Report Number 2 (PDF), based on the independent advisory panel meeting September 20, 2017
  • District received the NWRI Final Report for Panel Meeting Number 1 (PDF) that took place on February 27, 2017.
  • NWRI Independent Advisory Panel. A public meeting of the NWRI Independent Advisory Panel created to provide a third-party review of the Pure Water Soquel project was held on September 20, 2017.
  • District and City of Santa Cruz enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (PDF) memorializing preliminary terms related to the Pure Water Soquel Project.
  • District publishes a Revised Notice of Preparation (NOP) on June 22, 2017, that an environmental impact report (EIR) will be prepared to reflect the recent changes (elimination of untreated/raw wastewater as a source option and the addition of two potential treatment sites for the advanced water purification facility) and an additional 30-day scoping period for public comment through July 22, 2017.
  • District submits a Letter of Interest (LOI) to the Federal EPA's Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (Wi-FiA) program in April 2017 and is one of 43 agencies being considered.
  • District Board reduces source water options for the Pure Water Soquel project to be already treated secondary effluent from the Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility that is currently being discharged to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Also, the Board adds additional purification facility sites to be considered.
  • The District is currently preparing an environmental impact report (EIR) which is anticipated to be released in early 2018 and we will be having several meetings.
  • The District Board commissions the National Water Research Institute (NWRI) panel to provide expert third-party, independent peer review of the technical, scientific, and regulatory aspects of the Pure Water Soquel Project. Handout including the Advisory Panelist (PDF).
  • District submits an application for a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Water Smart Grant for a Title XVI Feasibility Study for $150,000 in January 2017 and is notified that it's been selected as a recipient in May 2017.


  • CEQA Notice of Preparation and Initial Study Released and Scoping Meetings. Scoping closed January 5, 2017.
  • District submits pre-application for Prop 1 Groundwater Quality Grant Funding for $2.5M with letters from Senator Monning (PDF) and Assemblymember Stone (PDF)
  • A report on Potential Injection Aquifer Geochemical Characterization was accepted by the Board
  • The City of Santa Cruz (PDF) and County of Santa Cruz (PDF) provided letters stating interest in providing wastewater effluent to the District.
  • The District embarks on the environmental review in 2016-2017.
  • The District completed its draft Feasibility Study in March 2016.


  • A Technical Memorandum on Water Quality and CECs was held on October 20, 2015.
  • Soquel Creek Water District and Santa Cruz County entered into a Cooperative Agreement (PDF) in August 2015.
  • A community meeting, co-sponsored by the Soquel Creek Water District, the City of Santa Cruz, and the Water Supply Advisory Committee was held on June 17, 2015.
  • District awarded a $75,000 grant from the State Water Resources Control Board to prepare a Feasibility Study of using advanced purified water for groundwater replenishment.


  • District Board of Directors at their August 2014 Meeting (PDF) select advanced purified water for groundwater replenishment as its preferred option to further evaluate. The Board also directs staff to carry forward river water transfers and desalination until a final decision is made.
  • District Board of Directors declared a Stage 3 Water Shortage and Groundwater Emergency on June 17, 2014


  • District launches re-evaluation of new supply options.
  • The pursuit of scwd2 Desalination Project ceases as the City of Santa Cruz steps back from the project.
  • State Water Resources Control Board revises Policy for Water Quality Control for Recycled Water (PDF) (also known as the Recycled Water Policy)