2020 Survey Demonstrates Our Community Supports Investing in Infrastructure and Protecting Groundwater Basin from Further Seawater Intrusion

In January 2020, the District conducted a statistically-valid survey of over 400 local residents, to gain a better understanding of how they feel about the District and the water supply issues faced by the community. Surveys like this help us to understand people’s perceptions, needs, and awareness of the District and its operations, see where we can improve and do a better job for the community, and plan for the future.  

Here is a brief look at some highlights (some numbers and percentages are rounded for clarity) from this initial presentation:

Overall Positive Perception of the District

  • About two-thirds of respondents say that the District is doing an “excellent”  or "good" job (64%)
  • When asked how much they trust the District to find a responsible solution to the water supply issues faced by the community, two-thirds of respondents reported that they have either “a great deal”  or “some” trust in the District (67%).

Support for Investment and Action Now

  • The overwhelming majority of respondents (91%) agree that investment is needed now to ensure a safe, reliable water supply.
  • Nearly the same total (89%) agree that the District should take strong action now to address the issues of over-drafting and seawater contamination of the local groundwater.

Acceptance, Comfort Levels with Pure Water Soquel Project

  • Nearly 60% of respondents reported that they were at least “somewhat” familiar with the concept of purified recycled water, of the type which can be pumped into the ground and stored as part of the existing groundwater, ultimately becoming part of the drinking water supply.
  • When asked about possible uses of purified recycled water, nearly two-thirds of respondents said its use as drinking water, after being mixed with groundwater, is acceptable.
  • Notably, 75% of respondents say that the concept of replenishing groundwater supplies with purified recycled water to prevent seawater intrusion is acceptable. Similarly-high levels of acceptance were reported for other uses of purified recycled water, such as gardening, landscaping, and irrigation.
  • More than 7 in 10 respondents reported that they are comfortable with the Pure Water Soquel project (73%), after learning that it will put already-treated wastewater through an advanced water purification process, use that purified water to replenish the groundwater supply, prevent seawater contamination, and eventually become part of the drinking water supply.

A broad overview of the results of the survey was presented to the District’s Board of Directors on May 5, 2020, by the professional survey firm FM3. They will be providing a more in-depth analysis of the results in an upcoming report to the Board. The May 5, 2020 presentation slides can be viewed here. The full survey and report will be presented to the Board in a forthcoming meeting.

Click here for more information about Pure Water Soquel.

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