Kennedy Jenks has worked closely with the City of Santa Cruz and regional stakeholders over the past 12 years to investigate supplemental water supply alternatives to meet the region’s needs, including the investigation of non-potable and potable reuse.
The City of Santa Cruz has experienced ongoing water supply challenges, long before the recent drought affected California, due to their reliance on rainfall, surface water, and groundwater and lack of access to imported water. To remedy this situation, the City along with neighboring water agencies in the region have actively pursued supplemental supply alternatives, and Kennedy Jenks has been a trusted advisor to support these efforts at the City:
In 2008, KJ served as the Desalination Program Technical Advisor, exploring the benefits and limitations of implementing desalination in the region. Dawn Taffler led a Supplemental Supply Evaluation Study, which was the first comprehensive looks at alternatives for non-potable, indirect and direct potable reuse in the region.
In 2016, KJ developed an SWRCB Recycled Water Planning Grant application for the City, resulting in successful authorization for funding of a Regional Recycled Water Facilities Planning Study (RWFPS). Dawn Taffler (PM) led a multi-disciplinary team to look at various permutations of non-potable and innovative potable reuse opportunities to beneficially reuse wastewater at the Santa Cruz WWTP while helping to bridge the water supply gap for the future. Alternatives analysis focused on regulatory, technical, financial, institutional and public acceptance issues related to groundwater recharge through direct injection, surface water augmentation at Loch Lomond Reservoir and direct potable reuse. The outcome of the analysis recommended a phased approach to achieve the City’s sustainable water supply
initiatives. In the near-term two small non-potable water projects would provide beneficial reuse for irrigation, truck filling and at the local university, while leaving the door open for larger potable water offset through local or regional groundwater recharge projects in the future. The RWFPS was submitted to the SWRCB in 2018 on time and under budget, receiving minimal comments from the grant manager.
In 2020, Kennedy Jenks embarked on a Phase 2 Recycled Water Feasibility Study (RWFS) to update and re-evaluate opportunities to determine the most appropriate way to beneficially reuse treated wastewater to offset potable water demands and improve water supply reliability given other recycled water, in lieu and ASR projects being pursued in the region. This document will help the City to compare reuse to other supplemental supplies and to identify a preferred recycled water project for the future.