Recycle Water & Groundwater Overdraft

The City of Watsonville provides water for over 66,000 customers in the Watsonville area. Most of our water comes from groundwater wells. Only about 10% comes from local creeks. This means we depend on pumping groundwater out of the earth to supply our entire community with water. Many coastal wells are in danger of salt water intrusion because of the groundwater overdraft and being near the ocean. Agriculture is another huge part of the Pajaro Valley's water use and depends on a healthy water supply to support this local industry.
Recycled Water
In March of 2009 the City’s regional award winning and nationally recognized Wastewater Treatment facility began operating the newly constructed Wastewater Recycling facility.

Watsonville’s Water Recycling Project is a joint effort of the City of Watsonville and the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency to provide recycled water to farmers throughout the coastal areas of South Santa Cruz and North Monterey counties. By treating wastewater and making it available to the $400 million local agricultural industry, the Water Recycling Project protects groundwater that is being consumed more quickly than it is replenished. This accounts for over 20% of the 18,500 acre-feet per year of coastal pumping needed to halt seawater intrusion into the local aquifer.  In addition, the plant significantly reduces wastewater discharges into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The PVWMA (Pajaro Valley Water Management Association) operates approximately 20 miles of distribution pipeline for recycled water deliveries to 95 agricultural water users in the 8,000 acre coastal area. The recycled water, from the City’s recycle facility, can be blended with potable water and other groundwater sources, prior to irrigation in order to meet water quality objectives. The City supplies some of this blend water from its groundwater wells. These agricultural water users rely on the City’s water supplies to help meet their food crop irrigation water needs.

It takes local and regional solutions to manage our precious water and provide a long-term supply of safe and healthy drinking water to our community through:
  • Wastewater Recycling
  • Partnerships with the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency
  • City’s Water Conservation Programs
  • Public Education