The holidays are just around the corner! Does it feel like 2022 has just flown by incredibly quickly? Suddenly, Thanksgiving is approaching – a time when many people take a pause to appreciate family and friends and renew our gratitude for the many positives in our lives, our work, and our communities.
Here at Soquel Creek Water District, we are thankful every day for the opportunity to serve the people in our District by providing a safe, high-quality, reliable, and sustainable water supply to meet our community’s present and future needs in an environmentally sensitive and economically responsible manner. When I stopped and thought about some of the positive things we’ve experienced this year at the District it gives me, even more, to be grateful for and a renewed optimism for the future of our water supply.
Perhaps at the top of the list of things for which the District is grateful is the generous State and Federal support we’ve received this year. This past summer our Pure Water Soquel project was awarded a $21 Million U.S. Bureau of Reclamation “WaterSMART” Grant, which was part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the planning, design, and construction of water reuse projects. Then, just last month, the project received another $26.5 million from the California State Water Resources Control Board. This Proposition 1 funding includes both a $13.25 million grant and a $13.25 million low-interest (1.6%) loan. This is in addition to previous years’ awards of $52 million in Proposition 1 grants and several substantial low-interest loans from the California Seawater Intrusion Control Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Program.
These funds all support Pure Water Soquel and directly sustain our efforts to replenish the overdrafted groundwater basin, prevent further seawater contamination of our water basin, and provide a safe, high-quality, drought-proof water supply for current and future generations in the Santa Cruz Mid-County region. We are indeed grateful to have achieved this milestone that significantly benefits all our customers, and all who utilize the overdrafted groundwater basin.
We are also grateful for the progress being made on construction of Pure Water Soquel. This includes building the advanced water purification center at Chanticleer Avenue and Soquel Avenue; the installation of eight miles of pipeline under numerous city and county streets to carry recycled or purified water; and construction of three seawater intrusion prevention wells where purified water will be pumped underground to replenish the aquifer and prevent further seawater intrusion.
And in the midst of all this work, we are so very grateful to our community for their patience with construction in the streets, detours, dust, and noise – thank you!
Another very positive occurrence this year for which we are thankful is the District’s involvement in a remarkable mini-documentary, “A Refreshed Perspective.” It’s all about Pure Water Soquel, and was produced for us by BBC StoryWorks and presented by the International Water Association. The mini-documentary is part of their online series called “Beneath the Surface: The Journey of Water” which includes short films that profile the innovations and innovators who are advancing positive change toward water sustainability. The series includes 16 unique stories from around the world, and ours is one of only two from the United States (others from around the world represent Spain, Uganda, Brazil, Scotland, Sweden, Portugal, and more). We are very grateful to be part of this select group of water sustainability innovators! If you haven’t seen it yet, just go to purewatersoquel.com.
The District has a deep appreciation and gratitude to all who are part of the effort that has put us firmly on the path to a sustainable, drought-proof water supply with Pure Water Soquel. And finally, we are proud and grateful to be your community partner for reliable water. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and our best wishes for the holidays.