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Posted on: November 16, 2016

Soquel Creek Water District Announces Initiation of Environmental Impact Report Preparation

The formal initiation of the environmental review phase for the Soquel Creek Water District project, Pure Water Soquel, begins today with the release of a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and announcement of public scoping meetings. This groundwater replenishment project would involve treating municipal wastewater with advanced purification methods and then injecting the purified water into groundwater aquifers to help address critical overdraft conditions in the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Basin, as well as, prevent further seawater intrusion. The Pure Water Soquel project is comprised of various facilities and pipelines, including: an advanced water purification system; pipelines for conveyance of source water, brine concentrate, and purified water; groundwater injection wells; and monitoring wells.

The District has developed an action oriented, multi-faceted Community Water Plan that serves as the District's roadmap to meet our goal of long-term sustainability by 2040. The Community Water Plan's key components include: water conservation, groundwater management, and securing supplemental supplies. Conservation and groundwater management are helpful, but not sufficient to protect the groundwater basin from being further contaminated by seawater intrusion. A new source of supply is still needed. The District has been evaluating three different supply options with groundwater replenishment being the District's preferred project to further evaluate. A feasibility study was completed earlier this year for the Pure Water Soquel project which led to this next step of environmental review and preparation of an EIR.

The first step in the EIR process is called scoping, which will define the issues to be evaluated in the EIR. Release of the Notice of Preparation (NOP) launches the public scoping period. The NOP will identify the potential environmental effects that will be evaluated in the EIR. Requests for hardcopies of the NOP should be emailed to Melanie Mow Schumacher, P.E. The NOP will also be posted at several Santa Cruz County Library branches (Capitola Library, Central Public Library, Live Oak Library, Aptos Branch Library, Porter Memorial Library, La Selva Beach Library, Branciforte Library, Garfield Park Branch Library).

During the 35-day scoping period the public may provide input on the environmental topics, potential effects, mitigation measures, and range of alternatives to be analyzed in the project EIR. Scoping comments may be submitted at the public scoping meetings by mail or email between November 16, 2016 - December 21, 2016. All comments must be postmarked or received via email by December 21, 2016 for consideration in the Draft EIR. Please submit comments on the proposed project to:
Melanie Mow Schumacher, P.E.
Associate Manager - Special Projects
P.O. Box 1550
Capitola, CA 95010
Email Pure Water Soquel

In an effort to make scoping accessible and convenient for our community, Soquel Creek Water District will hold two EIR scoping meetings on Wednesday, December 7, 2016:

  • Twin Lakes Church
    2701 Cabrillo College Drive
    Building 700
    Aptos, CA 95003
    2 to 4 pm
  • Twin Lakes Church
    2701 Cabrillo College Drive
    Building 700
    Aptos, CA 95003
    6 to 8 pm

Each meeting will include an open house with information stations and presentations on the project and the CEQA process. The same information will be presented at both meetings. Public comments may be provided verbally (recorded by court reporter), or in writing. Meeting facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for special accommodations or translation services should be directed via email to Rebecca Rubin, Public Outreach Coordinator, no later than five days before the meeting by calling 831-475-8501, ext. 118.

Please email Melanie Mow Schumacher, P.E., Associate Manager - Special Projects or call at 831-475-8501, ext. 153 with any questions about this meeting or the public input process.

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