The groundwater basin on which we all depend on drinking water is shared by Soquel Creek Water District (SqCWD), City of Santa Cruz, Central Water District, and private wells. Representatives of each of these entities comprise the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency (MGA - see more information at www.midcountygroundwater.org). The State of California has officially designated this basin as critically overdrafted, and the MGA is responsible for bringing the basin into sustainability by 2040.
There are several municipal drinking water wells in the Live Oak community, which are operated and maintained by the City of Santa Cruz. As shown in the map below, Live Oak is part of the MGA basin area. These wells rely on that already-overdrafted groundwater basin to provide water for the people of Live Oak and the greater community. This water supply is at great risk, with seawater contamination detected in the groundwater aquifers near the well-field in the Live Oak/Pleasure Point area (in fact, seawater intrusion is occurring throughout the coastline from the Harbor to Pleasure Point/Live Oak to Aptos/La Selva Beach). From Pleasure Point to Aptos-Seascape-La Selva Beach area, the groundwater pumping can be optimized to redistribute pumping away from the coast and more inland. This redistribution, along with putting purified water into the ground through the seawater intrusion barrier wells, will raise protective groundwater levels.
Everyone living within the MGA area is affected by the groundwater overdraft and seawater intrusion problem. The Project is being developed as a means of replenishing the overdrafted groundwater aquifer, providing a barrier to seawater intrusion, and thereby protecting and sustaining the water supply for all within the MGA area.