For Immediate Release
December 21, 2022
Contact: Melanie Mow Schumacher, Special Projects Communications/Assistant General Manager
Phone: 831-475-8501, ext. 153
SqCWD Announces New Board Leadership and Organizational Changes toward Water Supply Sustainability
Soquel, CA (December 21, 2022) - The Soquel Creek, Water District Board of Directors, swore in a new Board President at its meeting last night and also approved organizational changes that reflect the District’s transformation from being solely a water district that extracts groundwater to serve its customers into also becoming a groundwater replenishment district that will be putting purified water back into the basin when Pure Water Soquel is operational.
During the Board meeting, Carla Christensen was sworn in as the new Board President. The duties of the President include overall leadership of the Board in carrying out its responsibilities and developing policy, presiding over Board meetings, representing the District with other agencies, making Board committee assignments, and other functions.
Ms. Christensen, a retired environmental scientist, has been a board member since 2014 and has been an active community member in the mid-county area for over 25 years. Previously, she has served on the board of the Capitola Junior Guard program for more than a decade and was a founding member of the Friends of Soquel Creek. Currently, she serves on the Finance and Administrative Services Committee, Public Outreach Committee, as an alternate to the Water Resources Management and Infrastructure Committee, and the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority Board.
“Serving as the Board President is a tremendous honor and a great responsibility,” said Ms. Christensen. “I look forward to continuing our Board’s work to provide our community with safe, reliable, high-quality water in a sustainable way. As a Board and staff, the District has made substantial progress in meeting our goals of a sustainable water supply, and it is a privilege to help lead those continued efforts.”
The Board elected Dr. Bruce Jaffe, who has served on the Board since 2002, to serve as Vice-President. He will act as president in Ms. Christensen’s absence and will become Board President in 2024.
The Board also adopted an organizational reorientation as it approaches a pivotal transformation of primarily extracting groundwater from the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Basin, which is critically overdrafted, to one that will also be replenishing the basin to meet the state mandate of sustainability by 2040. There are two modifications included in the Board action. The first is the renaming and reorientation of what is currently the Conservation and Customer Service Field (CCSF) Department to the Water Resources Department. For two decades, the CCSF has focused on water conservation and other related programs to prevent further groundwater overdraft and seawater intrusion while also managing water resources and other programs, such as leading the Regional Water Optimization Study that is part of the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency (MGA) grant.
While recognizing the necessity for increased efforts toward water resource management, the reorientation also acknowledges that District and customer conservation efforts over the last 20 years have been highly successful and per capita consumption is one of the lowest in the State. As a result, the focus is more about water resources management and efficiency than just conservation.
The second modification approved by Board was to expand the title of Special Projects and Communications (SPC) Manager to include Assistant General Manager (AGM). The AGM title is important in succession planning, among other planning and organizational strategies. A key role of the expanded SPC/AGM position is to provide leadership in developing and maintaining strategic relationships with regional partners and executing the District planning goals while continuing to oversee the Pure Water Soquel project construction, implementation, and communications and outreach.
About Soquel Creek Water District
The Soquel Creek Water District is a 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.