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Water Resources

Water Quality  Drinking Water Regulatory Program  Water Conservation Program  Integrated Regional Water Management 
 Water Supply  Watershed and Stream Habitat Protection  Groundwater Management Stormwater Management 

State of Drought: Reduce water use by 20%

To see results of the most recent water quality sampling, click here


Santa Cruz County waters provide drinking water for residents and visitors, critical habitat to numerous threatened and endangered species and opportunities for recreational and commercial activities. The overwhelming majority of Santa Cruz County's water supply is locally derived from surface and groundwater sources – a unique situation in a state supported by large federal and state water projects. However, like many other areas of California, the County faces water resource challenges including impaired water quality, inadequate water supply, overdrafted groundwater basins, depleted streams, and degraded riparian habitat. Balancing water supply with environmental needs and other uses is a challenge that requires a collaborative effort among all stakeholders. Since our domestic supply is local, we have both the opportunity and responsibility to find solutions to these challenges ourselves.

Santa Cruz County's Water Resources Program is organized within Environmental Health Services under the Health Services Agency. The Water Resources Program is not a water supply agency, but rather works in collaboration with other County departments, agencies, special districts and non-governmental organizations to solve water resources and environmental issues through long-range water supply planning , water quality protection and watershed management.

The County's Water Resources Program focuses on four main elements with input and oversight from two advisory commissions. The links provided on this page will take you to more detail about the various tasks undertaken by program staff under each of the four program elements.

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