Soquel Creek Water District Embraces Community Partnerships - We’re #InThisTogether with ZunZun - March 2020

The Soquel Creek Water District is engaged in multiple approaches to combat over-drafting of the groundwater basin and seawater intrusion into our local water supply. It’s important to remember that these severe water supply challenges affect everyone in our community – and we are all part of the solution. Over the next few months, this series of Water Wisdom columns will feature the viewpoints of local community members and organizations talking about the importance of creating and maintaining a sustainable water supply, as a community.

For the last 20 years, Zun-Zun has maintained a clear focus on its mission: to educate kids about the environment, specifically around water, its crucial role in daily life, and everyone’s responsibility to protect it. Zun-Zun, a musical duo of Gwynne Cropsey and her husband Stephen Synder, accomplishes this through a blend of humor, movement, and song, engaging kids locally and all over the world. In fact, their fun, musical performances reach over 100,000 audience members annually.

Based in Santa Cruz, Zun-Zun’s educational goals in many ways mirror those of the Soquel Creek Water District – to help the next generation understand the value of water in our lives, and the great need to protect our water resources. By helping kids learn about watershed pollution prevention, water conservation, water recycling, the impacts of climate change, and how all of these aspects fit together, Zun-Zun’s programs really help to reinforce the District’s own ongoing messaging to the local community.

“There’s nothing more important than a dependable water supply, and many areas of California don’t have that,” says Gwynne. “We’re very fortunate to have local groundwater, but we must be vigilant and make sure it’s preserved and protected. That starts with educating kids about the importance of water in our everyday lives.”

From the District’s perspective, Gwynne is absolutely right. Zun-Zun’s efforts to educate kids about water will help ensure they have the knowledge and understanding to support water and groundwater sustainability as they grow into adulthood.

Gwynne points out, “Many people take water for granted, and our programs try to change that attitude at a young age. Kids love learning about things lke water conservation, and not putting stuff in the storm drain. They’re excited to spread the word and share their new knowledge with their families. It’s inspiring to see young people helping change perceptions about water, and our future. They’re going to grow up with a great appreciation for protecting our fragile water supplies.”

She’s impressed with the District’s efforts around preventing the groundwater basin from being contaminated by salt water intrusion through water conservation programs, groundwater management, and creating new water supplies like Pure Water Soquel. “More and more people are now recognizing the critical need for the District’s work toward a sustainable groundwater supply,” Gwynne notes. “A lot of people don’t know that we now have a law mandating the regulation of our groundwater, but we do! It’s extraordinary that so many voices were heard as the District prepared its Community Water Plan. Now we’re in a much better place, with a lot of confidence that our local water supply can be preserved and sustained for the future.”

As for Pure Water Soquel, Gwynne notes that blending highly-treated, purified water with a groundwater drinking supply is nothing new. “In a perfect world we would just conserve enough to not deplete and destroy our groundwater, but we don’t, so we need a solution. It’s been done in southern California for a long time, and elsewhere in the US and the world. All water on Earth is already recycled, and this is just a way of speeding up that process…it’s the ultimate recycling!” Having personally consumed this kind of water many times, Gwynne confirms – it’s just good water.

Thanks to Gwynne and Zun-Zun, the “good water” message is getting out to thousands of kids, who are bringing it to their families. In the true spirit of #InThisTogether, Zun-Zun’s local outreach helps the community to better understand the District’s mission and efforts. And, it’s wonderful to know that the kids reached by Zun-Zun will grow up with such an appreciation and responsibility for our most precious natural resource.

As always, if you have any questions about this month’s topic or anything else related to Soquel Creek Water District, feel free to contact the District at outreach@soquelcreekwater.org  or visit www.soquelcreekwater.org

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