One of our primary organizational goals at Soquel Creek Water District is community engagement and outreach. This involves fostering relationships and open communication with our customers and the community-at-large through our website, on the phone, at community meetings and events, in-person at our office, social media such as Facebook and NextDoor, and at your home or business.
As a local public agency, the District values community input and partnerships that help increase water awareness, conservation and the challenges we face with an over-drafted water basin and seawater intrusion. A primary goal of the District is to develop a supplemental water supply to replenish our basin and make it sustainable by 2040. One of the four options we are currently evaluating is the Pure Water Soquel Project that would use advanced water purification methods to purify recycled water for replenishing the groundwater basin and protecting against seawater intrusion.
Public Comment and Scoping Meeting for EIR Preparation of Pure Water Soquel Project: We are currently conducting an environmental review and a revised Notice of Preparation (NOP) is being recirculated which reopens the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) scoping period for public comment. A NOP is the first step in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.
The new NOP addresses the changes to the project components that have occurred over the last six months: eliminating raw/untreated wastewater as a source water option and includes evaluating three potential water purification facility sites (Soquel Creek Water District's Headquarters/West Annex site, Chanticleer/Soquel Avenue site, and the Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility site).
The expanded EIR scoping period begins June 22, 2017, and closes at 5 pm on July 22, 2017. A scoping meeting will be held on July 12 from 6 to 8 pm at Twin Lakes Church. We hope that you will join us for this public scoping meeting. Comments from this scoping period as well as the one held previously (November 2016 to January 2017) will be included in the draft EIR. For information, visit the Pure Water Soquel page.
District Open House: Part of our outreach plan this year includes our Community Education Series. This 4-part series has given community members the opportunity to tour District facilities you only normally get to see from behind a fence. We are excited our 3rd event will be the District Open House. It will take place on Thursday, July 20th from 4:30 to 7 pm at our headquarters located at 5180 Soquel Drive.
We invite you to join us for a fun-filled evening of learning and refreshments. There will be eight learning stations set up street-fair style:
- Community Water Plan Station - See our groundwater model in action, learn about the groundwater basin, seawater intrusion, supplemental water supply options being evaluated, and make an edible aquifer (ice cream float)
- Conservation Station - Learn about rebates offered, ways to save water, enter a free raffle to win an ultra-high-efficiency toilet, and learn about the rain catchment system at our office from the South Carolina County Resource Conservation District
- Customer Service Station - Ask questions about your bill, sign up for e-billing or automatic payment
- Kids Activity Station (sponsored by the Coastal Watershed Council and City of Capitola) - Kids play the permeability challenge, aquifer cornhole game and pledge to save water!
- Pure Water Soquel Station - Learn about Pure Water Soquel, how it fits into the Community Water Plan, and get a tour of the new Education Trailer
- Social Station - Free snacks and refreshments and District staff will be available to chat and answer questions
- Water Reliability Station - Learn about the importance of infrastructure, tour inside the Rosedale well building, learn how the well works, and how water is cleaned
- Water Quality Station - Learn how we monitor the quality of water, what we test for, and see the 2016 water quality report
Join us for a H20 taste test challenge, the ribbon cutting of our new education trailer, and the award ceremony for Turf Replacement Superstars. We hope to see you, your family and friends there!
As always, if you have any questions about this month's topic, our Community Water Plan, or anything else related to Soquel Creek Water District, feel free to email Melanie Mow Schumacher or call 831-475-8501, ext. 153.