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Small System Metering Requirements

Santa Cruz County is facing a lot of challenges when it comes to water resources. We are in the fourth year of drought which has severely impacted streamflows, habitat for fish and wildlife, and groundwater recharge. Even if heavy rains come this winter, the groundwater aquifers will remain in overdraft for years to come. In September, 2014, the Governor signed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) into law. The SGMA establishes a framework for sustainable, local groundwater management for the first time in California history. The SGMA also authorizes the State Water Resources Control Board to protect groundwater resources in areas where local and regional agencies are unable or unwilling to sustainably manage the groundwater within their jurisdiction.

As a measure to help better manage our limited water supplies and to prepare for the SGMA, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors approved an update to the ordinance on water system metering and reporting on August 4, 2015. Here is a summary of the amendment of Chapter 7.71 of the County Code:

*  Production/source metering must be installed by October 1, 2015 on all Water Systems. As soon as installation is complete, contact Nathan Salazar to confirm. Systems within the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency (PVWMA) boundary may be eligible for assistance.

*  Initial reporting of monthly production through December 31, 2015 is required by January 15, 2016. This includes monthly production going back as far as July 1, 2013 if available.

*  Annual reporting of monthly production will be due on January 15th of each year.

*  Community water systems are required to install connection meters by October 1, 2017. An implementation plan for the installation of meters must be submitted by January 15, 2016. Guidelines for the plan will be sent separately to those systems.