Our Water is Groundwater

The District currently receives 100 percent of its water from two geologic formations. Put simply, all of our community's water is pumped with wells from underground.  The Mid-County Groundwater Basin includes two primary aquifers in the Purisima Aquifer Formation which provides two-thirds of the District's annual production for Capitola, Soquel, and Aptos. The Mid-County Groundwater Basin also includes the Aromas Red Sands Aquifer which provides the remaining one-third for the communities of Seascape, Rio Del Mar, and La Selva Beach.  The Mid-County Groundwater basin is shared with other pumpers throughout our area including City of Santa Cruz, Central Water District, small mutual water companies, and private well owners.

Our shared groundwater basin is currently in a state of overdraft, which means more water is being extracted than can be naturally replenished by rainfall.  This condition has led to seawater intrusion detected at our coastline and, if left unresolved, will contaminate the groundwater wells and make them unusable to produce drinking water.

Production Wells: The District operates 16 production wells that extract approximately 4,200 acre feet* of water annually (Calendar Year 2013) . This is equal to approximately 1.4 billion gallons of water. (*One acre foot of water equals 325,851 gallons and is enough water to cover a football field one foot deep).  To view our monthly production, click here.

Monitoring Program: Since 1981, the District has maintained an extensive monitoring and management program to better define our underlying groundwater resources.  Over eighty monitoring wells in twenty-five different locations monitor water quality and groundwater levels in the two aquifers that make up our water supply.  All wells are sampled to measure chlorides, general minerals, total dissolved solids and static water level as an early warning of the threat of saltwater intrusion.

Groundwater Management

The District's long-term strategic vision for a sustainable water supply is called the Community Water Plan.  A key component of the Community Water Plan is pro-active groundwater management.

Soquel Creek Water District is a partner agency in the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency (MGA) and working on developing a Groundwater Sustainability Plan, which is required by the State to be completed by 2020.  For more information, visit the new dedicated website:  www.midcountygroundwater.org for more information.   


Planning for a reliable, high-quality and affordable water supply that protects groundwater resources is a top priority for the Soquel Creek Water District.  Despite significant conservation efforts by District customers, our groundwater supply is overdrafted (more water is pumped out than can be naturally replenished by rainfall)  and contamination by seawater intrusion has been detected at our coastline.  So far, none of our drinking wells have been impacted.

Other Useful Links:

Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency

California Department of Water Resources: Groundwater Information Center

Find your Watershed

Resistivity imaging reveals complex pattern of saltwater intrusion along Monterey Coast