Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Sep 05th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Water Talks

water tapSANTA CRUZ > City council approves UCSC water expansion policy

On Tuesday, Feb. 28, the Santa Cruz City Council unanimously passed a water expansion measure for UC Santa Cruz that would enable the university to not have to pay for water conservation measures that would offset water growth demand until they reach a baseline of 206 million gallons a year. This baseline number is based off of the water demand from 1997.

 

The proposal was met with a fair amount of opposition from members of the public who came to Tuesday’s meeting, as well as from representatives of Santa Cruz Desal Alternatives.

Ron Pomerantz, a local environmentalist and retired firefighter, proposed lowering the baseline for the university to an average number that would better reflect the water demands of other developers in the city. “This would better reflect customer equality,” he said. “It’s not as if the university would be punished by this. It would encourage them to speed up water conservation actions.”

Santa Cruz Desal Alternatives founder Rick Longinotti added, “If the university doesn’t pay for this, then the burden will fall on the rest of the customers. Every developer has to pay a water hookup fee. There’s no reason why UCSC shouldn’t pay it.”

Longinotti also brought up the fact that the recent requirements of federal and state fisheries agencies for the upcoming year also posed some problems for the university’s water expansion plans. “They’re asking for a conservation strategy that would implement Tier 3 flows,” he said. “That’s a tall order. Until we work out how much water to leave in the streams, we won’t know how much water the university and the rest of the city can use. We need a new conservation plan.”

Bill Kocher, the director of the Santa Cruz Water Department, told the council that, “a Tier 3 flow means leaving 80 percent of the flow in the streams unimpaired. We would need nine million more gallons a year. That just can’t happen.”

Kocher also went on to mention that an average-based baseline would institutionalize anomalies such as the fact that last year was unusually foggy and that, as a result, not as much water was used. He also pointed out that the amount of students living on campus has grown a lot since 2003, and that the ensuing water demands would not be met.

“UCSC’s water projections have actually been way more effective than other developers,” said councilmember Ryan Coonerty. “Last year, they cut their water usage down by more than 30 million gallons, which exceeded the agreement they made. If the university doesn’t implement a water-neutral strategy, then there will be less kids up on campus, and more kids living in the neighborhoods where they will end up using more water. I’d like to remind everyone that the university pays for growth, and their growth is offset by putting aside the funds saved for water conservation.”

To this, Mayor Don Lane added, “There seems to be a lot of assumption from people in the community that UCSC is getting special treatment, but they’re paying extra for their expansion, and not creating any new demands on the system.”

After the deliberation, the city council unanimously voted for the water-neutral expansion measure to be adopted.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

You Are What You Post

Online personality algorithms put astrological profiles to shame, but UCSC psychologists are raising questions about sharing personal data

 

Venus Direct, Mercury Retro Soon, Honoring Our Labors

As Burning Man (nine days, Aug. 30-Sept. 7 in the sign of Virgo) burns in the hot white desert sands, a petal of the rose created by retrograde Venus and the twelve-petaled Sun in Virgo’s petals unfold. All of us are on the burning ground (Leo) in the womb (cave of the heart) of the mother (Virgo), gestating for humanity once again (each year) a new state of consciousness. Both Virgo and Cancer, feminine (receptive energies) signs, are from our last solar system (Pleiades). When humanity first appeared on Earth we were nurtured by the mother, a matriarchy of energies (on islands in the Pacific). Eve, Isis and Mary are part of the lineages of our ancient Mother. Overseen by the Pleiades, the Earth (matter, mater, the mother) in that last solar system was imbued with intelligence (Ray 3). As we move toward autumn, another mother, Ceres realizes she has mere weeks left with her beloved daughter, Persephone. Persimmon and pomegranate trees prepare for autumn, their colors signs of hope as the light each day continues to dim. Sunday, Venus in Leo turns stationary direct, yet continues in her shadow until Oct. 9 (when retrograde Mercury turns direct). Slowly our newly assessed values emerge from the Venus retrograde. We thought in Venus retro how to use our resources more effectively. Mercury retrogrades Sept. 17. Monday is Labor Day. Let us honor the labor of everyone, all life a “labor.” Let us honor Labor Day and all those who have “served” (labored for) us this past year. We honor their labors. We honor the labor of our parents, those who have loved us. We honor our own labors, too. We are all in service, we are all laboring. We are all valuable.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 4

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sushi Garden

Local sushi empire expands to Scotts Valley

 

Do you overshare online?

I don’t think so. I just post things about my life, like successful things. Sometimes I just like sharing different news that I find interesting, or favorite artists, clothes, music. I like to post photos. Natalia Delgado, Santa Cruz, Server

 

McIntyre Vineyards

I recently met up with three friends for dinner at Sanderlings at Seascape Beach Resort. We chose to eat outside so we could watch the sun set over the ocean, but the Aptos fog rolled in and swallowed it up.

 

Sustainable Supper

The Homeless Garden Project’s Sustain Supper series supports its award-winning programs