We’re #InThisTogether - Santa Cruz Business Council - November 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.

Robert Singleton is the Executive Director of the Santa Cruz County Business Council – a nonprofit group with the focus of advocating on behalf of local business interests. The organization's goals include fostering county-wide business and community vitality, being a voice for business and economic vitality throughout the community, and maintaining good working relationships between the business community, government, and public stakeholders.

That's an important mission, which affects all who live and work in our region. In carrying out that mission, Robert says that the Business Council recognizes and understands that a robust, prosperous economic environment is dependent on a healthy, strong, thriving community - and that one of the primary keys to a healthy community is a sustainable, dependable source of clean water.

Consequently, there is a very strong business interest in the condition of the local water supply, and in the District’s projects to address the threats to our groundwater basin, which is the sole source of water within the District’s service area.

“A reliable water supply is the very lifeblood of a vibrant community,” says Robert. “And a healthy community is the foundation for economic activity - providing customers and workforce throughout the business sector. Without a reliable water supply, our community declines, and our businesses along with it.”

As you might gather, Robert is well-aware of the ongoing threats to the local water supply. “With the critically over-drafted groundwater basin and saltwater contamination literally at our doorstep, our water supply is in dire circumstances,” he notes. “As advocates for business, we are depending on and support the District’s efforts to confront this critical issue. We’re in this together – businesses, the District, neighborhoods, communities, and families – and we can all take action to help resolve the long-term water supply problem.” Robert knows that continued water conservation is one key part of the solution, which the Business Council’s member companies take very seriously. At the same time, he and the Business Council appreciate the District’s work in creating new water supplies, such as Pure Water Soquel.

This points back to the District’s multi-faceted, community-based approach to a sustainable water supply – water conservation, effective groundwater management, and new water supplies. Pure Water Soquel will divert millions of gallons of treated wastewater, purify it to meet or exceed all state and federal drinking water standards, and use it to recharge our over-drafted groundwater basin. This project holds great promise for ensuring our local community and businesses can depend on a reliable, long-term water supply.

In light of the immediate challenges to our community’s water supply, Robert also reflects more personally on what these problems, if not resolved, may mean for the future. “I plan on raising a family here, and I have many friends who have children,” he says. “We need to work together to ensure that our kids and grandkids, and the generations beyond, have a sustainable, reliable source of clean drinking water.”

These concerns for our future are shared by everyone, both from a business perspective and a resident perspective, and highlight the fact that only by working together can we continue to move toward a long-term solution. That is the District’s objective, and Robert and the Business Council agree - #inthistogether.

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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