Ventura Water hosted a stakeholders meeting and workshop on Nov. 3 for community members interested in learning more about how the City plans to provide a sustainable water future for Ventura residents, while addressing the complex interests surrounding the Santa Clara River Estuary.
In December of 2011, the Ventura City Council voted on a final settlement agreement and consent decree with Heal the Bay and Wishtoyo Foundation/Ventura Coastkeeper to resolve legal actions associated with the City’s Reclamation Facility discharges of tertiary treated water into the Santa Clara River Estuary. In this agreement, the City agreed to further investigate and determine how best to use this water resource for the future while preserving the Santa Clara River Estuary’s natural habitat.
Per the consent decree, by the end of this year, the City must propose a project or projects that would address reusing 100 percent of the discharge from the existing Reclamation Facility to the estuary. However, the final discharge amount has not been determined yet, but will take into account water quality and habitat preservation.
The stakeholder meeting began at 9:30 a.m. with a tour of the City’s new VenturaWaterPure “potable reuse” demonstration facility and then convened at City Hall for a workgroup. Regulators, members of environmental groups, recreation users, ratepayers and potential water reuse customers attended to learn about the activities conducted this year regarding the Santa Clara River Estuary. Following the welcome and introductions, Carollo Engineers gave a comprehensive progress update on estuary monitoring activities conducted to date, 100 percent diversion as defined by the Consent Decree, the estimated range of costs for 100 percent diversion, and brine disposal options and costs. (Brine refers to the waste by-products of potable reuse and desalination that requires proper treatment and/or disposal.)
Looking ahead, more data will be collected and compiled for the estuary and the potable reuse pilot study. The next stakeholder workshop will be held mid-year in 2016.
To review the PowerPoint presentation given at the Nov. 3 meeting, click here.
Learn more about the estuary settlement here.