Potential water shortages due to drought brought a large group of locals to the City Council Chambers. Last Tuesday’s meeting explored the possibilities of a desalinization plant in order to effectively prevent water shortages across Santa Cruz.

The meeting also served to inform and update Santa Cruzans on the logistics of the integrated water plan. Mayor Ryan Coonerty emphasized that the meeting was intended to provide information for locals.

“Tonight we are just focusing on the water supply,” Coonerty said. “We are not taking any action tonight. We are not approving the desalinization plant. This is to give you a sense as to where we are in the process, what the issues are related to our water supply and then what our future timeline looks like.”

Linette Almond, the deputy water director and engineering manager for Santa Cruz, spoke about the technical issues regarding the plant’s modeling and engineering in her oral staff report, with the help of the Soquel Creek Water District. Almond updated the information provided to the public, along with background information on water supply, and a direct timeline as to when the desalinization program would take place.

A community member said conserving water is not enough, with the main issue facing the city being the lack of dependable supply in the first place.

“Santa Cruz is a community of conservationists,” she said. “We’re conscious about saving water, but that’s really not enough. We need a dependable supply of water. Fresh clean water, for our neighborhoods and businesses, schools and hospitals. We also need water for our trees.”