Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency - 3-021 SANTA CRUZ PURISIMA FORMATION, 3-002 PAJARO VALLEY, 3-004.09 SALINAS VALLEY - LANGLEY AREA, 3-004.01 SALINAS VALLEY - 180/400 FOOT AQUIFER

Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency - 3-021 SANTA CRUZ PURISIMA FORMATION, 3-002 PAJARO VALLEY, 3-004.09 SALINAS VALLEY - LANGLEY AREA, 3-004.01 SALINAS VALLEY - 180/400 FOOT AQUIFER

A. Applicant Information

Requesting Agency Information
Agency Name: Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency
Address: 36 Brennan Street
City: Watsonville Zip: 95076
Work Phone: (831) 722-9292 Cell Phone: (831) 722-9292
Email: lockwood@pvwater.org Fax: (831) 722-3139
Revision Request Manager Information
Person Name: Brian Lockwood
Address: 36 Brennan Street
City: Watsonville Zip: 95076
Work Phone: (831) 722-9292 Cell Phone: (831) 722-9292
Email: lockwood@pvwater.org Fax: (831) 722-3139
 

B. Description of Proposed Boundary Modification

  1. A basin boundary modification proposal that reflects current groundwater management efforts.
    • Jurisdiction Internal
    • 3-021 SANTA CRUZ PURISIMA FORMATION
    • 3-002 PAJARO VALLEY
    • 3-004.09 SALINAS VALLEY - LANGLEY AREA
    • 3-004.01 SALINAS VALLEY - 180/400 FOOT AQUIFER
  2. 3-02 Pajaro Valley; 3-21 Santa Cruz Purisima Formation; 3-04 Salinas Valley - 180/400 Foot Aquifer; and 3-04 Salinas Valley - Langley Area

C. Initial Notification and Combination of Requests

  1. Yes
    Local Agency Potential Basin(s)/Subbasin(s)
    Soquel-Aptos Groundwater Management Committee 3-026 WEST SANTA CRUZ TERRACE , 3-021 SANTA CRUZ PURISIMA FORMATION , 3-002 PAJARO VALLEY , 3-001 SOQUEL VALLEY
    Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency 3-002 PAJARO VALLEY
  2. Yes
    The modified Pajaro Valley Basin (3-02) and proposed Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin (3-01), which is documented in a submitted basin modification request by the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency (formerly Soquel-Aptos Groundwater Management Committee), will share a common boundary. However, it is not practical for the two requesting agencies to submit a combined request as separate submittals for each basin because each basin?s submittal features a number of proposed modifications that extend beyond the common boundary of the two basins. In addition, the Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin request was submitted before PVWMA?s Board decided to prepare a request. However, the common boundary is based on PVWMA?s statutory boundary, and therefore is consistent between the two requests as needed for DWRs consideration.

D. Required Documents for All Modifications

The basin boundary modification is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) because it is not a project under CEQA. Even if the basin boundary modification constitutes a project, it would be exempt because there it is no possibility that it will have a significant effect on the environment.

E. General Information

F. Notice and Consultation

Local agencies and public water systems within the affected basins were first identified through a GIS analysis of existing Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency records. In addition, each County Department of Health (Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito) was contacted for a complete list of water systems within the affected areas to ensure none were missed. This work was crossed checked with data provided by recent basin boundary modification request submitted by the Soquel / Aptos Groundwater Management Committee (now known as the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency). A Sustainable Groundwater Management webpage was developed and added to the Agency?s website (http://pvwater.org/about-pvwma/bmp-update.php) to be a source of information for the community at large.
Senior staff contacted local agencies via phone and email, attended GSA formation meetings for the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency, attended and commented at a Monterey County Board of Supervisors meeting on February 23, 2016, attended and made comments at SGMA workshop as part of a Board-level Basin Management Planning Committee of the Monterey County Water Resources Agency on March 9, 2016, and presented at the Board of Directors meeting of the Aromas Water District on March 22, 2016. Agency?s were notified of two PVWMA Board of Directors meetings with the Basin Boundary Modification Request on the Agenda, March 16 and 30, 2016. Staff were interviewed and provided information for an article published in the local newspaper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, on March 29. A Sustainable Groundwater Management webpage was developed and added to the Agency?s website (http://pvwater.org/about-pvwma/bmp-update.php) to be a source of information for the community at large.

G. General Existing Groundwater Management

All requests for jurisdictional modification pursuant to Section 342.4 MUST include responses to the following questions.
The Basin Management Plan, which is a DWR approved AB3030 Groundwater Management Plan, serves as the PVWMA?s long-term guide to water resource sustainability in the Pajaro Valley. In 2002 the Basin Management Plan was revised to put extra focus on local water supply alternatives, and in 2014 it was updated again, this time with a strong emphasis both on conservation programs and the use of local water supplies. Under these plans, the Agency has made steady progress towards achieving sustainability in the Pajaro Valley groundwater basin. In 2009, in a novel partnership with the City of Watsonville, the Watsonville Area Recycled Water Facility, was completed. Constructed to produce 4,000 acre-feet per year of disinfected, tertiary treated water, the facility is currently the primary source of irrigation supply to coastal ranches overlying groundwater impacted by seawater intrusion. The Coastal Distribution System is the PVWMA?s 20-mile network of pipeline used to convey supplemental water to the coastal growers for irrigation use as an alternative to groundwater and provides a source of in-lieu recharge. Key in the Basin Management Plans is a water conservation goal of 5,000 acre feet per year, and a robust irrigation efficiency program is being funded to help reach that goal.
The proposed boundary modification would improve the ability of adjacent agencies to sustainably manage groundwater in adjacent basins in critical overdraft. This modification would formally include affected areas within the adjacent Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin and Salinas Valley Basins. The Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency (MGA) plans to form a Groundwater Sustainability Agency to manage the Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin, which will consolidate the affected area of the existing Pajaro Valley Basin with the existing Soquel Valley Basin and parts of the existing Santa Cruz Purisima Formation Basin and West Santa Cruz Terrace Basin. Including the area of the existing Pajaro Valley Basin west of PVWMA with the Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin will allow the MGA to focus on managing the basin providing groundwater supply to its member agencies and stakeholders. Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA) already manages most of the affected area of the existing Pajaro Valley Basin with the rest of the Salinas Valley Basin, and the basin modification will allow MCWRA or any future GSAs managing the basin to continue managing those areas as one basin. The technical requirements for intrabasin coordination agreements are unnecessary to manage the three adjacent basins so the jurisdictional modification using PVWMA?s statutory boundary will improve sustainable management by allowing allocation of resources to more important management needs. The Santa Cruz Purisima Formation Basin is expected to be reprioritized as low or very low priority if the submitted boundary modifications are approved because groundwater pumping for the remaining area of the Santa Cruz Purisima Formation Basin is well below the threshold of 2,000 acre-feet per year below which basins are classified as very low priority. Therefore, the basin would appropriately not require management under SGMA.
The Pajaro Valley Groundwater Basin is in critical overdraft, causing groundwater elevations to drop below sea level as shown in Figure 1-2 of the Basin Management Plan (BMP). This has led to seawater intrusion with chloride contamination of groundwater wells up to three miles inland, as shown in Figure 1-3 of the BMP. The goal of the BMP is to address unsustainable groundwater elevations below sea level that would lead to further seawater intrusion. Figures 1-2 and 1-3 in the attached BMP. Historically, groundwater levels were higher than today in inland areas. In places along the coast, some wells flowed artesian; in other words, groundwater levels were high enough at times in past years that groundwater surfaced in some of the coastal areas. Under such conditions, the pressure and seaward gradient of freshwater in the aquifer was able to prevent intrusion of seawater. By the 1940s, following the major development of groundwater resources to support a growing agricultural industry, some wells would still flow artesian, but only during winter. By the 1970s, water levels west of Watsonville were consistently below sea level from approximately May to December, often never recovering to levels above sea level, providing the conditions necessary for seawater intrusion. Water level data were used to create contour maps of groundwater levels, as shown in Figures 2-8 through 2-13 of the BMP. A contour elevation of zero indicates mean sea level. Water level contour maps from the fall of 1947, 1951, 1987, 1992, 1998, and 2013 illustrate the basin?s response to drought (1947, 1987-1992) and its recovery (1951, 1998). In 1947, drought resulted in water levels at or below sea level, but by 1951 all areas had recovered to above sea level. In 1992, following six years of drought conditions (an average of 16 inches of precipitation from 1987 to 1992), 63% of the basin had water levels at or below sea level. In the fall of 1998, after four wetter than average years (an average of 34 inches of precipitation from 1995 to 1998), 48% of the basin had water levels at or below sea level, indicating that it still had not recovered from the last drought due to continued overdraft (PVWMA 2002). Most recently, groundwater levels collected from PVWMA?s network of monitoring wells throughout the 2013 water year were used to map the water table elevation in the basin. It is evident that a significant trough below sea level still exists throughout the valley floor, centered around the Pajaro River channel and extending to the coast line. Conditions for the undesirable result for further seawater intrusion continues to exist. Figures 2-8 through 2-13 of the attached BMP.
Santa Cruz County is the CASGEM reporting agency for all basins in the County and will continue to serve that role after basin modification. The County reports data for CASGEM from a number of wells in the proposed Pajaro Valley Basin and Santa Cruz Mid-County Basins. The County does not include wells from the area of the Santa Cruz Purisima Formation Basin that will remain following modifications, as it considers those areas unimportant as a groundwater resource. This is in line with the expected reprioritization of these two basins as low or very low priority in the 2017 update of Bulletin, discussed in G-2. The Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the proposed Pajaro Valley Basin will be based on PVWMA?s Basin Management Plan for the area (see G-3). In Monterey County, the Water Resource Agency is the reporting agency, however, Monterey County CASGEM wells located within the Pajaro Valley are included with the Santa Cruz County data submittal.

H. Local Support

All requests for boundary modification must include the following:
PVWMA has received messages from Monterey County Water Resource Agency and Soquel Creek Water District stating that they will ask their respective Boards of Directors to consider resolutions of support. It is anticipated that additional resolutions will be received within the next 30 days.
No opposition has been received to date.

I. Hydrogeologic Conceptual Model

Requests for boundary modification, must include a document or text to a clearly defined hydrogeologic conceptual model demonstrating each of the following:
Chapter 2 of PVWMA?s Basin Management Plan (BMP ? attached as part of item G) describes the hydrogeologic conceptual model for the Pajaro Valley Basin. The required items of the conceptual model are addressed on the following pages of the BMP: 1. Pages 10-11, also geologic cross-sections on Figure 2-4 (page 12) 2. A. Page 9 (Eastern Boundary) , also geologic cross-section A-A? on Figure 2-4 (page 12) B. Page 10 (Southern Boundary) C. Page 11 D. Pages 13-14, also Figure 2-3 (page 12) 3. Page 15 4. Page 10, also geologic cross-sections on Figure 2-4 (page 12) Additional detail on the hydrogeologic conceptual model is provided in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Scientific Investigations Report 2014-5111, Integrated Hydrologic Model of Pajaro Valley, Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties (Hanson et al., 2014) that can be downloaded from http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2014/5111/ Figures 35 and 43C of the USGS report show maps of modeled stream recharge and areal recharge. Figures 6A and 6B of the USGS report show maps of pumping wells and tile drains, locations of discharge. Other discharge components include base flow or rejected recharge along streams, evapotranspiration, and subsurface underflow to the offshore portions of the aquifer systems and discharge to the ocean along submarine outcrops on the ocean shelf, Monterey submarine canyon, and Elkhorn Slough. Figure 2-2 on page 10 of the BMP (as well as Figure 1 of the USGS report) show the Pajaro Valley model boundary compared to the PVWMA jurisdictional boundary. The Pajaro Valley model boundary is located to the northwest of the PVWMA jurisdictional boundary, recognizing that PVWMA?s jurisdictional boundary is not a hydrogeologic boundary. Similarly, the model under development for the proposed Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin is located to the southeast of the PVWMA jurisdictional boundary. The overlap between these models demonstrates an understanding of the inter-connection across the PVWMA jurisdictional boundary proposed as the boundary between the Pajaro Valley Basin and the Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin. PVWMA shares Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency?s commitment to inter-basin coordination as stated in our respective basin boundary modification requests. The Pajaro Valley model boundary is fairly similar to the PVWMA jurisdictional boundary in Monterey County and includes PVWMA where it overlies the existing Santa Cruz Purisima Formation Basin so the model is consistent with the jurisdictional modifications proposed for those areas.

L. Technical Studies for All Jurisdictional Modifications

Requests for a jurisdictional boundary must attach or provide a URL or upload a file for the following:
PVWMA has declared as the GSA for its jurisdiction for the Pajaro Valley Basin and will develop a GSP by 2020 as required by SGMA for this critically overdrafted basin. PVWMA is committed to developing interbasin coordination agreements as necessary for sustainable management of Pajaro Valley Basin and its neighboring basins with the GSAs for the proposed Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin and the Salinas Valley Basin, which are also both in critical overdraft. In its basin boundary modification request, the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency stated its commitment to inter-basin coordination with PVWMA. PVWMA is working closely with the Aromas Water District, and the Counties of Monterey and San Benito to address the final, potentially unmanaged area of the Pajaro Valley Basin. As such, PVWMA is committed to developing and intrabasin coordination agreement with the GSA that eventually forms to manage that relatively small area.
Created on 03/28/2016 at 12:23PM, last modified on 07/06/2017 at 11:20AM and page generated on 12/11/2017 at 10:25PM