Project increases recycled water supply

(Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency and City of Watsonville officials celebrate the completion of a project Thursday that included a new 1.5-million-gallon storage tank at the Wastewater Treatment Plant on Clearwater Lane. Photo by Erik Chalhoub/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency celebrated the completion of a project Thursday that significantly increases the amount of recycled water used on crops throughout the area.

Called the Recycled Water Storage and Distribution Pump Station Improvements Project, the work added a new 1.5-million-gallon tank that more than doubles the Wastewater Treatment Plant's recycled water storage to 2.5 million gallons.

Also included in the project were two new distribution pumps, as well as upgrades to four existing pumps to make them more energy efficient.

"We are really pleased with this project," said PV Water General Manager Brian Lockwood. "This really helps PV Water achieve our mission of a sustainable groundwater basin."

The project is expected to give PV Water about 500 acre-feet per year of increased recycled water production.

This is particularly crucial as about 95 percent of the Pajaro Valley's water supply is derived from groundwater, according to Lockwood, and for several decades, groundwater pumping has exceeded recharge.

PV Water Board Chair Rosemarie Imazio said the board's commitment to a sustainable basin, as well as a "strong partnership" with the City of Watsonville, made the project a reality.

"This improvement allows us to deliver recycled water more efficiently to growers in the area," she said.

The $5 million cost of the project received funding help from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the State Water Resources Control Board and the CA Department of Water Resources.


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