New Residential Building Water Service

New Single Family

Before you start designing your new home you must be aware of the water conservation requirements to receive water service in The Soquel Creek Water District area.

  1. Determine if your property is within the Soquel Creek Water District Service Area. Use this map to determine if your property is in the District Boundaries.
  2. Fill out New Water Service Application Request.
  3. Contact conservation staff to schedule an appointment to discuss your project. District staff will review and identify applicable project requirements and provide an estimate of project charges.
  4. Meet with District staff to:
    • Go over project development requirements, submit application, and pay the $300 application fee
    • Discuss Water Demand Offset fees and sign the "Water Demand Offset Program Applicant Agreement"
    • Discuss the Water Use Efficiency Requirements.
    • Discuss Engineering Requirements.
  5. Purchase 10% of your total offset requirement.
  6. Get Conditional Will Serve approval.
  7. Obtain a building permit (or tentative map) from the respective land use planning agency (Santa Cruz County or City of Capitola) and provide a copy to the District.
  8. Pay remaining offset requirement.
  9. Fill out the Water Use Efficiency Requirements checklists and the fire protection requirements form and submit to District.
  10. Get Unconditional Will Serve approval
  11. The Applicant is required to hire a contractor to install the new service and pay the District the remaining fees including an inspection deposit and water capacity fees (if required).  This process is described in the Applicant Installed Service Brochure.
  12. Once service is installed, District staff may inspect to ensure all Water Use Efficiency Requirements and Go Green building measures (if applicable) are met.
  13. Drop meters and begin service.

Complete Process Flow Diagram

Please refer to the process flow diagram for Tier I and Tier II Single Family Residences. Click on Image to open up a larger .pdf.




Cost Overview

Check out our New Water Service "Cheat Sheet" to get an idea of the cost of obtaining water for some common residential developments. Costs shown on the cheat sheet are subject to change and are for reference only.

Water Demand Offset Fees

Applicants for new service must comply with the Water Demand Offset (WDO) Program and offset two times the amount of water demand expected from the development.  This requires new development to pay a WDO fee equivalent to $55,000/acre-foot of offset.  WDO fees are used by the District to fund water conservation or supply projects in the service area that provide an equivalent amount of water.  Applicants must first contact the District and present the proposed building plans (no permit required for this step).  The District will calculate expected water demand based on the parcel size and use of the new development and determine the offset requirement.  See Water Demand Offset Program page for more info.

IMPORTANT: 10% of an applicant's total WDO fee must be paid before Conditional Board approval is granted and plans can be submitted to the City of Capitola or the County of Santa Cruz. The remaining 90% of an applicant's total WDO fee must be paid before Unconditional Board approval.

Service Connection and Meter Charges

Applicant is responsible for locating and hiring a licensed contractor to install the required service.  Applicant is required to pay any remaining District fees including, the applicable meter drop for their service size and a deposit for inspection (determined on a project to project basis).

Most single family residential developments use a 5/8 inch Domestic and a 2 inch Fire Combination service.

  Meter Drop Size Cost
Combination Service
5/8" Domestic and 2" Fire Service 5/8" & 5/8" $740
Single Service
5/8" Domestic or Irrigation Service 5/8" $370
1" Domestic Service 1" $420
2" Fire Service 5/8" $370

Water Capacity Charges

In addition to the Connection and Meter Charges, there is an established Water Capacity Charge based on the size of the meter. Water Capacity fees are payable after a building permit or tentative map is granted and before the District will drop a meter and activate service.  Effective January 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021, standard size meter charges are:

Meter Size 2020 Capacity Charge 2021 Capacity Charge

5/8 inch restricted meter



5/8 inch meter



3/4 inch meter


1 inch meter



Have Questions or Want to Schedule an Appointment?

Contact Alyssa Abbey, Staff Analyst, by email or by phone at (831) 475-8500 x124.