Press Releases

City of Santa Cruz Tertiary Membrane Pilot Project Wins 2018 Engineering Achievement Award

On Feb. 8 the City of Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility (SCWWTF) was awarded the 2018 Engineering Achievement Award from the California Water Environment Association (Monterey Bay Section) for a pilot project that evaluated tertiary treatment technology in a joint effort with Soquel Creek Water District (District).

Soquel Creek Water District Ceremoniously Breaks Ground on Seawater Intrusion Prevention Recharge Pilot Well

The Soquel Creek Water District ceremonially broke ground yesterday on a pilot well which will be used to determine recharge and extraction capacity of the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Basin. Once operational, the well data will help the District better understand how the aquifer can be replenished to prevent seawater contamination with the goal of developing a system of recharge wells to protect the groundwater basin and prevent further seawater intrusion. 

Soquel Creek Water District Board of Directors Certifies Final Environmental Impact Report and Approves Its Pure Water Soquel Groundwater Replenishment and Seawater Intrusion Prevention Project

At its meeting last night (December 18), the Soquel Creek Water District Board of Directors took another environmental step forward in protecting its groundwater supply from further contamination of seawater intrusion. Following detailed staff presentations, Board discussion, and public input by over 25 of the approximately 70 meeting attendees, the Board unanimously certified the Final Environmental Impact Report (Final EIR) for its proposed Pure Water Soquel Groundwater Replenishment and Seawater Intrusion Prevention Project (Project). With the Final EIR officially certified, the Board then approved the Project, which can now move forward towards creating a long-term, resilient, and diversified water supply aimed at basin sustainability.

Status Update on Community Water Plan Water Supply Options to be presented to District Board on December 4

At its upcoming meeting on December 4, the Soquel Creek Water District Board of Directors will hear an update on the water supply options within its Community Water Plan, which is the District’s roadmap to addressing seawater intrusion and creating long-term water reliability and sustainability.

Santa Cruz Water Department and Soquel Creek Water District Initiate Water Purchase with Joint Pilot Project

The City of Santa Cruz Water Department and the Soquel Creek Water District announced today that the pilot project consisting of the District purchasing a limited amount of surface water from the City received final approval from the State and is on schedule to begin around November 26, 2018 and continue through April 30, 2019. This step in the pilot project follows significant study and analyses of the various elements involved in blending the City’s surface water with the District’s groundwater. Last year, the two agencies conducted laboratory testing which demonstrated initial compatibility with respect to water quality and now both agencies are proceeding with evaluating actual transfers in practice.

Soquel Creek Water District Invited to Submit Formal Proposal for State Grant

Soquel Creek Water District received notice earlier this month from the State Water Resources Control Board that its Concept Proposal for a significant State grant was accepted and the District has been invited to submit a formal proposal. In August 2018, the District submitted the initial Concept Proposal for funding to support its proposed Groundwater Replenishment and Seawater Intrusion Prevention Project (known as Pure Water Soquel) through the State Groundwater Grant Program. The District can now submit a formal proposal which would provide up to $50 million toward that project. The State already provided a $2 million planning grant for the project, thus this next opportunity would build and invest upon that effort.

Soquel Creek Water District Reminds Customers: Stage 3 Water Shortage Conditions Still in Effect

The Soquel Creek Water District is reminding its water customers that the local groundwater supply remains critically over-drafted, and the Stage 3 water use constraints remain in place. The District has been in a Stage 3 Water Shortage and Groundwater Emergency condition since 2014 due to the long-term groundwater supply shortage and seawater intrusion occurring at the coast. Maintaining the Stage 3 condition means that water-use restrictions and requirements for the District’s water customers are still in place— more information about these can be found at

Celebrate Water at the First Annual Water Harvest Festival

Soquel Creek Water District in partnership with the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County and Santa Cruz County Parks invite you to the first annual Water Harvest Festival. It’s a free water education event for the whole family that will take place at the Heart of Soquel Park in Soquel on October 20th, 2018 from 12–3pm. Kids and families can learn about groundwater geology, water-wise gardening, water resources, fire protection, water conservation, pollution prevention, and all things water. 

Soquel Creek Water District Receives WateReuse Association's “2018 Award of Excellence in Outreach and Education” for its Mobile Educational Trailer

The Soquel Creek Water District has proudly received a significant honor from the WateReuse Association: the Award of Excellence for Outreach and Education, in recognition of the District’s Pure Water Soquel Mobile Educational Trailer. This annual award recognizes significant success in advancing the public’s understanding and knowledge of recycled water, and is a prestigious honor illustrating the District’s ongoing efforts to provide the community with clear, understandable, and useful information about water reuse. View all the winners at

US Bureau of Reclamation Grant Helps Fund Recycled Water Pilot Study

The Soquel Creek Water District (District), in collaboration with the City of Santa Cruz, is exploring and evaluating tertiary treatment technology as part of the District’s proposed Pure Water Soquel Project. This small-scale tertiary treatment pilot plant, using ultrafiltration membranes, is on-site at the City of Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility. The proposed full-scale Pure Water Soquel Project involves potentially recycling approximately 25% of the secondary treated effluent that is currently being discharged out to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary from the Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility, purifying it, and then using the purified water to replenish the Santa Cruz Mid-County groundwater basin (Basin) and to create a seawater barrier. The Basin has been classified by the State as critically overdrafted and is under mandate to be brought into sustainability by 2040. This pilot plant is partially funded by a US Bureau of Reclamation Title XVI Recycled Water Feasibility Planning Grant for $150,000, which the District received last year.