In October 2013, the City Council directed staff to develop a plan to engage the community in an examination of water supply issues. From that direction, the Water Supply Advisory Committee (WSAC) was born. The members on the committee represent broad community interests including the environment, business, education and the water commission, and their aim was to explore the City’s water profile, including supply, demand and future risks; analyze potential solutions to deliver a safe, adequate, reliable, affordable and environmentally sustainable water supply; and, to develop recommendations for City Council considerations.
Current water conservation programs include water saving rebates, water budgets for large landscapes and free water-saving devices. Potential measures include rebates for high efficiency clothes washers, toilets and dishwashers; incentives for irrigation and landscape upgrades, rain sensors and gray water installations; and offering more in depth water audits and recommendations especially for top water users.
As of October 2015, they have 2 main recommended strategies:
The first is to focus on groundwater storage through in lieu water exchanges. Using In Lieu Water Exchanges will deliver rainwater from the winter months to Soquel Creek Water District (SqCWD) and/or Scotts Valley Water District (SVWD) customers, and thus allowing reduced pumping from these regional aquifers and enabling the aquifer to passively rest and recharge.
The second strategy is to develop a supplemental or replacement water supply in case the water storage strategies are insufficient to meet the plan’s goals of cost-effectiveness, timeliness or yield, Advanced treated recycled water or desalinated seawater would be used.
Visit their website to learn more about WSAC and its current work.