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City Council Candidate Night on Water Issues
Date Thursday September 27
Time 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Location Details
Louden Nelson Center
301 Center St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Event Type Other
Join us for a stimulating discussion as we engage future Santa Cruz City Council members on the choices for our water future.

And join us in the campaign to pass Measure P, the right to vote on desalination.
Added to the calendar on Tuesday Sep 18th, 2012 6:37 PM

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For Immediate Release – September 25, 2012

Contact: Paul Gratz

831.419.6441, pauljg45 [at]

All Eyes on Santa Cruz : Sept. 27 City Council Candidates Night on Water Issues. Public Records Act Request reveals “preliminary” plan for desal water transmission pipeline.

Santa Cruz -- With only 40 days left remaining until Election Day, all eight candidates running for the four City Council City seats plan to appear at a community forum on Thursday, September 27th at Louden Nelson Community Center . Sponsored by the Right to Vote on Desal Coalition, the 6:30pm event (, the event will provide voters and water ratepayers with an opportunity to listen to and engage the candidates about the key water issues facing Santa Cruz and the region, including the proposed desal plant, water supply and management alternatives, Measure P, and developing a sustainable blue-green economy.

Although seawater desalination in California has an expensive and troubled history, over $14 million already has been spent to pursue and promote an “expandable” 2.5 - 4.5 mgd desal plant in Santa Cruz without voter approval. If approved for construction, the facility would be the sole municipally-owned seawater desal plant operating in the United States . From Marin County to San Diego , water districts are now asking themselves: How much are we willing to pay for new water?

Last month, a previously unpublished City document was obtained in connection with a Public Records Act Request revealing a major component of the environmentally and financially risky desal project’s massive infrastructure, including the transmission pipeline, tanks, and pumping station. See attached map and drawing.

This section of the desal system targets De Laveaga Park and the adjacent neighborhood as the gateway corridor for shipping San Lorenzo River water eastward -- likely driving additional suburban sprawl from Live Oak to Aptos and La Selva Beach.

De Laveaga Park History: Lack of Transparency and Public Accountability

In 1894, the conservationist and humanitarian Jose Vicente de Laveaga willed land to the City and County of Santa Cruz for a co-owned public park to be used expressly for family recreation, natural enjoyment, and services for the elderly and disabled. Subsequently, the City regularly has violated and avoided the provisions of his will as well as betrayed the public trust. For example:

City donated 120-acres of the regional park to the State for a military encampment * Terminated City/County co-ownership of the park property * Conducted oil drilling * Historical uses compromised and structures destroyed * Established homeless shelter services * Expanded a water intensive and money loosing golf course without a conservation plan or a recycled water system * Pursued multiple cell tower development for commercials purposes


Desalination no panacea for Calif. water woes

Desalination And You: How prepared are locals to vote on the city’s most contentious issue?

Putting desalination into perspective