Santa Cruz CA and water policy

Drought in Santa Cruz, CA is especially relevant because the city relies on precipitation for sources rather than the extensive systems in place for the state. There are other towns in the same dilemma, but watching policy develop to change behavior is interesting. Like bottled water in Head scratching use of water in a previous post the volume of this municipal water compared to agricultural use is minor, but useful in that so many of us live in closed system pipe systems and dense populations. I get the impression that the ‘low hanging fruit’ of watering lawns, cars, and cleaning sidewalks is key.

The city primarily draws water from the drought-vulnerable San Lorenzo River, North Coast streams and Loch Lomond Reservoir. The city’s goal under the rationing program is to cut overall use by 25 percent through the summer months when demand is highest.

The system’s water production for June has averaged 8.4 million gallons per day, which is lower than the 8.7 million goal set by the city. Last June, the system produced between 10 million and 11 million gallons of water per day.

May’s production also was on target at 8.3 million gallons per day. The reservoir level is holding steady at the city’s desired two-thirds of capacity.