It has been our custom to dedicate the November column to the theme of gratitude and give thanks for our many blessings, privileges, and the simple things that provide for our basic needs and bring us pleasure. As always, the list of things the District is grateful for is long and varied, but a few themes typically emerge: We are grateful for our water, our community, and our customers.
We can all benefit from the occasional reminder to be grateful for the things that sustain us in our lives. At the District, we strive to remember that we are privileged to serve our community every day by providing a safe, reliable, high-quality, and sustainable water supply. What if we all strived to maintain a spirit of gratitude more consistently? What if we gave thanks to our colleagues, friends, and family on a regular basis?
For instance, what if we had a moment of gratitude every time we turned on our tap and clean water flowed out? This is easy to take for granted but consider that according to the U.N. World Water Development Report 2023, 26% of the world's population doesn't have access to safe drinking water. We often take things such as clean water, sanitation, food, and electricity for granted, which is understandable given the quality of life many of us enjoy. But this is the month for gratitude and Thanksgiving, so let’s pause and take stock of our blessings. Here is a list of some of the things we are grateful for at the Soquel Creek Water District.
Our 2023 Gratitude List
Our Customers and our Community
We are fortunate to live in a community full of wonderful people who are fully engaged in what goes on around them. And because those same people are also our customers, we are grateful you are vocal, responsive, and responsible. Our customers have responded to the need to use water responsibly and efficiently. You take advantage of the WaterSmart Portal, which helps to detect leaks and track water usage. We also appreciate our community’s patience during the construction of the Pure Water Soquel project. We take pride in being able to serve you.
Pure Water Soquel
The Pure Water Soquel project that has been in full construction this year and is scheduled for completion next year, will create advanced purified water at the new water purification center and use it to restore our depleted groundwater basin and protect against further seawater intrusion. The process will use highly treated wastewater from the city of Santa Cruz, that would otherwise be discharged into the Monterey Bay, to replenish the aquifer through recharge wells. We are grateful to the city of Santa Cruz for their partnership in this project. There are many individuals – staff and board members – to whom we are indebted for making this project a reality.
Our Board and Staff
This leads us directly to our gratitude for the sustained leadership and dedication of the District’s Board of Directors and staff. We are very fortunate to have a Board with many years of experience and expertise in water policy, science and public service. The Board has worked for many years to find a sustainable solution to our over-drafted groundwater basin and had the vision and commitment to bring about the Pure Water Soquel project. Our dedicated staff work tirelessly to maintain the water system, plan for the future, balance the books, manage projects, and keep the community informed of activities and programs. Thanks to all of you.
Bureau of Reclamation: $30 million grant for Pure Water Soquel
We are extremely grateful for the federal Bureau of Reclamation’s $30 million grant to Pure Water Soquel—the maximum grant total available for an individual project. Our gratitude for this funding, that was executed in 2023, extends to the 2012 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that provides $8.3 billion in funds for water infrastructure projects.
Water Harvest Festival Sponsors and Participants
The District’s 5th annual Water Harvest Festival on October 14 was a tremendous success, and we are grateful to all the community groups, businesses, and community members for their sponsorship and participation. The event achieved its goal to bring together residents, non-profits and community organizations to educate, inspire, and empower families to make a positive impact on their local water resources. We are grateful to everyone who has contributed to this wonderful tradition.
The list of things we are thankful for could go on but suffice to say we are grateful for many privileges, opportunities, and a caring community. We wish everyone a safe, happy, and gratitude-filled Thanksgiving holiday.