All of our community's water is pumped with wells from underground from the Mid-County Groundwater Basin. The Mid-County Groundwater Basin comprises two primary aquifers: the Purisima Aquifer Formation and the Aromas Red Sands. The Purisima provides two-thirds of the District's annual production for Capitola, Soquel, and Aptos. The Aromas Red Sands provides the remaining one-third for the Seascape, Rio Del Mar, and La Selva Beach communities. The Mid-County Groundwater basin is shared with other pumpers throughout our area, including the City of Santa Cruz, Central Water District, small mutual water companies, and thousands of private-well owners.
Our shared groundwater basin is currently in a state of overdraft, meaning more water is being extracted than 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.
Groundwater Emergency and Stage 3 Water Shortage Declaration: On June 17, 2014, the District Board declared a Groundwater Emergency and Stage 3 Water Restriction based on the critical overdraft of the groundwater basin and the seawater contamination occurring.
Monitoring Program: Since 1981, the District has maintained an extensive monitoring and management program to define our underlying groundwater resources better. 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 levels as an early warning for saltwater intrusion.
Basin Declared Unsustainable: On September 16, 2014 the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) was signed by Governor Brown which was California's landmark legislation for statewide management of groundwater. With this passage, the groundwater basins within California were evaluated and assessed on their sustainability. The Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Basin (Basin 3-001), which is the basin in our region, is declared as one of 21 basins in CA identified as "Critically Overdrafted" and mandated to be brought into sustainability by 2040.
Soquel Creek Water District is one of the partner agencies that comprise the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency (MGA). The MGA maintains a dedicated webpage with information about the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and what our area is doing to get our basin into sustainability by 2040.
One of the key responsibilities of the MGA is to develop, adopt, and submit a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). The Plan has been approved by the State of California. On their webpage, you can find: