City commission approves Santa Cruz seawater desalination program

The Santa Cruz City Water Commission in California on 7 March 2011 unanimously approved capital spending of around US$ 99 million on the city’s proposed 2.5 MGD (9,460m³/d) seawater desalination plant over the next three years.

The recommendation now passes to the Santa Cruz City Council for approval.

Preliminary engineering and environmental review are well under way for the project, a joint scheme with Soquel Creek Water District, which will remain the focus of this project in the coming year. In addition, work is beginning on developing alternatives for the transfer of water to Soquel Creek through the city’s infrastructure.

Intake facility design will begin in fiscal year (FY) 2013 and treatment facility construction will start in FY 2014 if approved by the council.