The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency (PV Water) Board of Directors approved contracts to construct the College Lake Integrated Resources Management Project during a special meeting on Feb. 1.
The College Lake Pipeline Project will construct a six-mile, 30-inch water main to transport treated water from the College Lake facility to more than 5,000 acres of farmland via the Coastal Distribution System, 22 miles of pipelines currently delivering supplemental water (including recycled water) to farms along the coast to preserve the groundwater resources of the Pajaro Valley.
According to PV Water, the project will also improve fish passage and bypass flows for the endangered South-central California coast steelhead. Once completed, the project will provide the largest new source of water in the Pajaro Valley since the completion of PV Water’s Watsonville Area Water Recycling Facility in 2009, operated in conjunction with the City of Watsonville, according to the water agency.
PV Water will use water from College Lake to leverage existing water infrastructure, which will help reduce the annual groundwater deficit of approximately 12,000 acre-feet per year, the agency stated. An acre-foot is equal to 325,851 gallons, or one foot of water covering an acre of land.
“This is such a momentous day, I can hardly stand it,” Board Chair Amy Newell said. “We don’t say enough about the work of our General Manager, Brian Lockwood, just fabulous, and let’s not forget about Mary Bannister, whose time as general manager helped to lay the groundwork for this project.”
The board awarded two contracts during its meeting, both to Mountain Cascade, Inc., which submitted the lowest responsive bid for each project component: the College Lake Water Treatment Plant and Intake Facilities Project in an amount of $44,989,854, and for the construction of the College Lake Pipeline Project in an amount of $23,707,310.
Construction is anticipated to begin this spring and take 22 months. The board also approved agreements for construction management services, environmental monitoring and permit compliance services, and engineering services during construction.
Director and Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau Past-President Tom Broz added, “This is a really important time to spearhead a project like this, and pointing to the future, this is a really important project that the community can stand behind. There will be challenges, but we have a great team to see this through and execute construction.”
For information on the project, visit bit.ly/40DkL8e.