In the News

Listen, Learn – And Submit Your Comments

KUSP, Land Use Report, Gary Patton, Monday, July 1, 2013

The City of Santa Cruz and the Soquel Creek Water District are planning to build a 2.5 million gallon per day desalination plant, expandable to a 4.5 million gallon per day desalination plant.

Both the City and the District have real problems. The Soquel Creek Water District relies on groundwater, and faces groundwater overdraft and seawater intrusion. The City relies mostly on surface water, and has water supply problems in drought years. Both agencies decided some time ago that desalination is their best option. Both agencies have been members of Cal Desal, an industry support and lobbying group devoted “solely” to desalination. The Water District recently quit Cal Desal, but the City of Santa Cruz continues to be a member, and to fund the group.

Skeptics, including members of the Community Water Coalition, a community group I represent as an environmental attorney, want to take a very hard look at the cost and other impacts of desalination, and thoroughly to consider alternatives.

This evening, a City and Water District sponsored hearing will be held from 6:30 to 9:00 at the First Congregational Church, located at 900 High Street in Santa Cruz. This is a chance to learn more about the proposed desalination project, and to make comments, too. I definitely encourage your attendance!

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