Letter: Unchecked development in Scotts Valley could lead to water crisis in both valleys
Feb 27, 2014 | 3212 views | 9 9 comments | 91 91 recommendations | email to a friend | print

As one of those responsible for ensuring a clean, reliable, and affordable supply of water to residents of the San Lorenzo Valley and parts of Scotts Valley, I cannot share the joy expressed by some over the latest burst of development in Scotts Valley.

As we anticipate a drought of record proportion, it is impossible not to feel concerned over new demands on our already stressed water supply.

Faced with similar shortages in the 1970s, following an unrestrained housing boom in the ‘60s, our district provided a measure of relief to existing consumers by imposing a moratorium on new hook-ups.

Perhaps it would be wise for the Scotts Valley Water District to consider enacting a similar measure.

The San Lorenzo Valley Water District is currently planning to construct a pipeline that will enable Scotts Valley to call on our sources of supply in emergencies.

We are also doing what we can to help see the residents of Lompico through a very real emergency.

Frankly, however, many of our residents fear that the city of Scotts Valley’s continued addiction to development will, sooner or later, lead to another crisis, which they will expect us to take care of.

Growth beyond the limits of the available water supply is not a blessing.

Randall Brown, Director, San Lorenzo Valley Water District


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Bill Smallman
April 16, 2014
In my opinion, growth and water issues need to be separated. Get with the planning department and improve the General Plan so it provides the final maximum number of water connections, (i.e. what you think this County would look like in perpetuity).

You cannot design a water system without knowing this. Not a good one anyway, or will last. The amount of water needs to have a "cushion" amount that gets us through around 3-5 dry years. Presently, we are living on the edge, because of serious lack of doing anything about it, and its all been a bunch, over 30 years, of talking and no action.
April 16, 2014
Nobody can accuse the Lompico water district of talking and no action--in today's Santa Cruz Sentinel you succeeded with your 3-5 year plan to tap a neighboring water supply.
Jim Lee
April 16, 2014
Many lefties in SC County live for droughts as a way to fight growth. I've lived and worked in the area for 40 years and watched them fight tooth and nail to prevent any augmentation of our water supply for the very purpose of restricting growth. There are some leading activists who advocate negative growth. Our current water situation is the result of design.
March 23, 2014
Thank You for starting the dialogue about this unbridled building and building, without regard for what it will do to our valley, our water and waste, our traffic and air pollution. CB
March 04, 2014
The main yard stick that the SVWD uses for evaluating the potential capacity to serve current and future customers is a balanced scorecard of its demand and supply. We operate and plan in gallons of water rather than in square feet or numbers of people. Since 1997, the annual groundwater pumping has decreased about 40%. 2009-2013 represent the first four years since 1995 that total pumping has been below the estimated sustainable yield. The District is very aware of the need to efficiently manage its resources and is actively looking for ways to collaborate with its neighboring agencies on win-win solutions.
March 03, 2014
Randall, it is great to see the SLV Water District observe the realities of over-development in regards to water supply. Just a few years back SLV CORE (Citizens Organized for Responsible Ecology) were told by Betsy Herbert and Jim Mueller from the SLV Water District that there was "no problem" to hook up 60 units in the Felton meadow slated for development, and there was "plenty of water". We had concerns at the time since they were also asking their customers to put "conserve water" signs up in our front lawns. SLV CORE was able to stop the development through environmental research and public support.

Sometimes water districts see dollar signs too, and not preservation of resources. I hope the SLV Water District sings a new tune now....imagine the mess we'd be facing if that development went through on the meadow? Power to the people that value and preserve our watershed.
Katya Stolykshnaya
March 03, 2014
Yes! What she said!
Mr M
March 03, 2014
I was at quite a few City Council meetings when the development on SV Dr was being debated. If I remember correctly no one from your company raised any red flags over hooking up 50 new customers. Why now when it's too late?
Cian Findhorn
February 28, 2014
It is not just Scotts Valley. It's the entire county.

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