IRWM Technical Studies

In 2011, the California Department of Water Resources awarded funds to the Regional Water Management Foundation to support an update of the Region’s IRWM Plan and to complete key technical studies to inform water resources management. This work provides critical data to evaluate resource management strategies to address the water resource challenges facing the Region. The resulting 2014 IRWM Plan is now available.

Watsonville Sloughs modelling
Conjunctive Use and Water Transfers - Phase II (Santa Cruz County Water Resources Division). Phase I technical studies (2008-11) evaluated the feasibility of large-scale water exchanges and aquifer recharge to mitigate the water management problems in the Region, as well as the potential for interties among local water agencies. Phase II builds upon Phase I to identify specific groundwater recharge strategies/projects, develop preliminary designs, and address legal and regulatory constraints. This project received $164,500 in grant funds and additional local matching fundsFINAL REPORT is now available.

Watsonville Sloughs Hydrologic Study (Resource Conservation District).  This study provides essential information to develop and implement strategies to improve this wetland ecosystem. Proposed projects have been repeatedly delayed due to the lack of critical information on the hydrologic functioning of this complex system. A hydrologic assessment of surface and shallow groundwater flows in the sloughs will support the development of resource management strategies to enhance water supply, flood management, ecosystem restoration, water quality, and recreational opportunities. This project received $199,056 in grant funds and additional local matching funds. This is an interregional study that will also benefit the neighboring Pajaro River Watershed IRWM Region.  FINAL REPORT is now available.

Aromas and Purisima Groundwater Basin Management Study (Central Water District). This planning and feasibility analysis examines the potential for redistribution of groundwater pumping between the Aromas and Purisima Formations near the boundary of the Central Water District and Soquel Creek Water District. Groundwater from both aquifers is currently the sole source of water supply for both Districts.  The Aromas is subject to seawater intrusion, elevated levels of Chromium VI (Cr-6), and overdraft. This study will evaluate the potential to shift additional pumping from the Aromas to inland portions of the Purisima to balance the pumping and avoid anticipated future treatment costs for Cr-6 removal. This project received $196,000 in grant funds and additional local matching funds. FINAL REPORT is now available.

Santa Margarita Groundwater Model Update (Scotts Valley Water District). Groundwater levels in the Santa Margarita Basin have declined over 200 feet in the past 30 years, and the Basin is impacted by significant contaminant plumes. An update of the groundwater model is essential to further efforts to restore groundwater levels and stream baseflow. This project received $221,000 in grant funds and additional local matching fundsFINAL REPORT is now available.