Ventura Water Holds Meeting on the Santa Clara River Estuary

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 SantaClaraRiverEstuaryRiver 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.

From Ventura Water’s November 2015 Pipeline

Sustainable Ventura News: 2011 Santa Clara River Estuary Settlement Update

 

An update on the 2011 Santa Clara River Estuary Settlement from Sustainable Ventura News Online @ Ventura County Star.

CLICK the LOGO below to WATCH THE VIDEO!

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Santa Clara River Estuary Special Studies Stakeholder Meeting Update

Small groups discuss the reuse options of Ventura's reclaimed water.

Small groups discuss the reuse options of Ventura’s reclaimed water.

Last week, nearly 50 stakeholders met to discuss options to reuse the highly treated water currently released by Ventura’s Water Reclamation Facility into Santa Clara River Estuary. Now entering its third year, this meeting was the start of the second phase of studies which are intended to answer the question … “What is the best use of the treated water resources from the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility to protect the health of the Santa Clara River Estuary?”

These studies were required by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board in 2008 by the terms of the City’s discharge permit which allows the treated water to be released into the Estuary. The first study phase scientifically evaluated the potential impacts on the Estuary’s habitat, water quality and recreational opportunities of:

  • Releasing different volumes of reclaimed water
  • Treating the reclaimed water to a higher water quality level and
  • Combinations of both factors.

Completed last year, the first phase concluded that continuing to release some water is more beneficial to the Estuary than completely removing it.  It was also determined that a second study phase was needed to decide how much water, what quality water, and at what time of year should water be released to optimize support for the aquatic environment. As part of this analysis, the stakeholders worked in small discussion groups during the meeting to identify pros and cons of reusing water for agriculture or urban uses, diverting the water to a wetlands, or using it to recharge groundwater.

These studies are part of the process laid out by the settlement agreement between the City, Heal the Bay and the Wishtoyo Foundation’s Ventura Coastkeeper Program, finalized in December 2012. The new Estuary Protection charge, reflected in customers’ bills starting in July, will financially support the development of this program, but to offset the cost of the second phase, Ventura Water recently received two grants totaling $225,000.

Another stakeholder meeting is tentatively scheduled for late October but customers are encouraged to visit cityofventura.net/water/screstudies to read the completed studies and for ongoing updates on the program.

Lydia Holmes of Carollo Engineers explains that the studies are intended to answer the question... “What is the best use of the treated water resources from the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility to protect the health of the Santa Clara River Estuary?”

Lydia Holmes of Carollo Engineers explains that the studies are intended to answer the question… “What is the best use of the treated water resources from the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility to protect the health of the Santa Clara River Estuary?”

Ventura Water’s Future

Ventura Water joins Heal the Bay and Wishtoyo Foundation’s Ventura Coastkeeper Program

in a historic agreement that will benefit local water supplies and protect the ecosystem of the Santa Clara River Estuary.

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