The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency Board of Directors took another step to advance the College Lake Integrated Resources Management Project by providing direction to staff to further investigate the “Rural College Lake Pipeline Alignment.”
A technical study conducted by consultant Jacobs Engineers concluded the Rural Pipeline Alignment would have fewer impacts on the community by lessening the time of construction, avoiding utility congestion, and costing less than the alignment described in the College Lake environmental impact report.
The Rural Alignment would avoid most of the City of Watsonville by going east and then south of the City center. The rural alignment was first considered in the 2014 Basin Management Plan update.
“The PV Water Board wants to reach groundwater sustainability as efficiently as possible with the least amount of disruption to the community and we believe this alignment fits into our mission,” said Board Chairwoman Amy Newell. “The Board works to keep costs as low as possible, and when we’re presented with better options for a future project we want to know more and do our homework.”
The College Lake Project will provide much needed surface-water resources to the Pajaro Valley, by pumping, treating, and conveying College Lake water to Pajaro Valley Water’s existing 23 miles of coastal distribution system service area, which provides approximately 5,700 acres of farms with alternative water supplies compared to pumping groundwater, to stop groundwater overdraft and prevent further seawater intrusion into freshwater aquifers, which has been documented since the 1950s.
Next steps include environmental studies of the alignment to prepare an addendum to the EIR. PV Water will be hosting public meetings to keep the community informed, to receive comments and listen to concerns.
Pajaro Valley relies on groundwater to meet more than 90 percent of demand.
To learn more about the College Lake Integrated Resources Management Project and the new preferred alignment, contact PV Water at 831-722-9292 or go to pvwater.org.
The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency is a state-chartered water management district formed to efficiently and economically manage existing and supplemental water supplies in order to prevent further increase in, and to accomplish continuing reduction of, long-term overdraft. The agency also works to provide and ensure sufficient water supplies for present and future anticipated needs within its boundaries, generally the greater coastal Pajaro Valley. PV Water’s Board of Directors is focused on achieving groundwater sustainability for the critically overdrafted Pajaro Valley Groundwater Basin.