To meet new state requirements and develop a sustainable water plan, the City of Watsonville engaged Harris & Associates to update its 2020 Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP) and assess the City’s water reliability over a 25-year planning period. Harris also drafted the City’s new Water Shortage Contingency Plan.
Working closely with the City to analyze water demand and supply, Harris developed resiliency projections under normal, single-year drought, and five consecutive-year drought scenarios. The primary water supply for Watsonville is the Pajaro Valley Subbasin, one of 11 critically overdrafted basins in the state, with saltwater intrusion negatively impacting agricultural users in the area. Harris worked with the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency (PVWMA) to clarify historical impacts of droughts and basin management approaches, as well as current and future plans for reuse in the groundwater basin.
Key components of the 2020 UWMP included detailed analysis of population growth, water demand and supply, water conservation, and recycled water use. The report also examined likely climate-related impacts on demand and supply, water quality, flooding, ecosystems, and habitat.
Additionally, the UWMP included water demand management measures, energy use and intensity analyses, water loss projections, and water conservation reporting as required by Senate Bill X7-7.
Beyond the Blueprints
The City’s proactive demand management activities and collaboration with PVWMA on groundwater sustainability projects led Harris to deliver a positive assessment of future water supply reliability for the region.