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   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county

Santa Cruz coalition proposes alternatives to desal plant

October 2011

Transition Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Desal Alternatives, and Local 234 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have joined forces in a plan to propose a new vision to the Santa Cruz City Council and Water Department and the Soquel Creek Water District. The vision is one of jobs and economic prosperity: Blue-Green Jobs.

The Coalition proposes a jobs initiative employing local workers in making the mid-Santa Cruz County water supply sustainable. Instead of building a desalination plant, the Coalition would like to see the Water Districts use the money set aside for desal on a variety of projects including pipelines which would allow water exchanges between districts, graywater/rainwater irrigation, and turf replacement. The work would employ union and prevailing wage construction and landscape workers.

In addition the Blue-Green Jobs Initiative proposes contracting with the California Conservation Corps to rehabilitate local logging roads and stream banks as well as conduct do-it-yourself workshops in the community on rainwater harvesting, irrigation with graywater, and composting toilets.

The San Lorenzo River watershed is badly degraded, with eight times the sediment runoff as would exist without human disturbance. Hundreds of miles of logging roads and illegal roads need to be restored. A million dollars a year would employ 26 full-time young adult CCC members from our local community. Such an expenditure is less than the cost of constructing a desal plant.

To learn more about the Blue-Green Jobs Initiative contact .

The Santa Cruz Group of the Sierra Club has not yet taken a position on the desalination plant proposed as a joint venture between the City of Santa Cruz and the Soquel Creek Water District.

A Santa Cruz City Council study session on water issues is planned for November 1. Watch your local media for information about time and place.























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