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Mid-County Hydrological Investigation To Be Released

For Immediate Release

March 8, 2018
Ron Duncan, General Manager, Soquel Creek Water District
Phone: 831-475-8501

Mid-County Hydrological Investigation To Be Released
Mapping of underground water resources achieved with innovative aerial technology

Soquel, CA – On March 15, the public is invited to a meeting of the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency for a report on the airborne investigation into the condition of the local groundwater basins. Groundwater is the primary source of water for the entire mid-county region.

Backed by state-of-the-art technology and producing the most detailed maps to date of threatened underground water resources, the report provides local policymakers highly detailed information that will serve as a valuable resource for the creation of a Mid-County groundwater management plan. The survey, which used a helicopter towing a large electromagnetic-generating hoop, was commissioned to identify the seawater/fresh water interface and provide other groundwater data that will contribute toward sustainability of this crucial resource.
“This provides us some key ‘missing pieces’ of critical information about where that interface is located along the coastline,” said John Ricker, Santa Cruz County Water Resources Division Director. “With this deeper knowledge and understanding, we’ll be in a better position to develop the right solutions to protect and ensure the reliability and sustainability of our groundwater supplies for future generations.”
In 2014, California passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, whereby critically overdrafted groundwater basins must be sustainably managed. That mandate should be supported by sound scientific, geological, and hydrological information.
To assist its research, the Mid-County Groundwater Agency contracted with Danish firm SkyTEM to collect data through an innovative technology that creates high resolution mapping of underground water resources. By creating a weak electromagnetic field to interact with the ocean floor, researchers were able to produce a detailed three-dimensional geological representation of the ocean subsurface. This information shows the distribution of fresh water and seawater, how close seawater intrusion is to shore and how far it is spreading, sediment types and their distribution which influence the movement of saltwater and fresh water.
The report will be presented at the next MGA meeting, Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m., Simpkins Family Swim Center, 979 17th Ave., Santa Cruz. Presenting will be hydrogeologist Max Halkjaer of Ramboll, which produced the report. Also present will be Cameron Tana, Vice-President of HydroMetrics Water Resources Inc., a technical advisor for the MGA.
About the MGA
The Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency is an 11-member board comprised of two elected officials each from Central Water District, City of Santa Cruz, County of Santa Cruz, and Soquel Creek Water District, and three private well representatives, overseeing the groundwater management activities of the Mid-County Basin Area in Santa Cruz County. Its goals are to ensure water supply reliability and water quality for current and future beneficial uses, and prevent adverse environmental impacts to this local water resource.