The Pure Water Soquel Project involves construction and operation of treatment, conveyance, and recharge facilities to support advanced purification of treated municipal wastewater for groundwater basin replenishment.

Why does this project matter?

The project will reduce the degree of overdraft conditions in the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Basin, upon which the Soquel Creek Water District (and the more than 40,000 people in its service area) relies for 100 percent of its water supply; protect against and aid in preventing further seawater intrusion of the groundwater basin; and promote beneficial reuse by reducing discharge of treated wastewater to Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. It will produce 1,500 acre-feet per year of supplemental supply to offset the portion of the Basin’s overdraft attributable to District groundwater pumping, and aid in meeting the mandates of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) that the Basin be sustainable by 2040.

What is ESA doing to help?

ESA has provided a broad range of technical environmental services throughout the District’s Pure Water Soquel project planning, environmental review, design, and permitting stages. These services include supporting the District’s extensive public outreach and community engagement process, contributing to environmental constraints and opportunities analyses, and producing technical documents concerning biological and cultural resources, hazardous materials, and visual simulations, among others.

ESA prepared the project’s Environmental Impact Report in accordance with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act, and concurrently prepared an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) to evaluate the suitability of one of the project’s potential recharge well sites. The IS/MND was adopted in November 2018. The EIR, delivered two months ahead of schedule, was certified in December 2018.

Project construction is underway. ESA is providing environmental construction compliance support to the District and its construction contractors, environmental analysis of minor project changes, environmental regulatory agency coordination support, and other services during the construction phase.

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"Alisa's guidance of the ESA team while putting in long hours to go the extra mile and applying a rigorous adherence to the CEQA process is so appreciated... Rarely does one see a consulting firm at such a high-performance level."

Ron Duncan, General Manager

Soquel Creek Water District

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