Integrated Water Resources Plan
Hollister, the largest city in central California's San Benito County, can rely on a diverse and complex water supply. This city of nearly 40,000, about 50 miles southeast of San Jose, imports water from the San Luis Reservoir and draws from a groundwater basin recharged by several rivers and creeks. If Hollister wants to further develop recycled water options, there are numerous sources.
Water is available, but to meet future demand from expected growth, the City of Hollister wanted to assure quality. According to California's strict regulatory guidelines, the city's water was safe but had high mineral content. In potable supplies, high mineral content can damage water heaters and affects taste and odor. In treated water used for irrigation, high mineral content can damage crops.
Relying on imported supplies, for present or future needs, was too risky, so the City of Hollister joined San Benito County and the San Benito County Water District and commissioned a long-term water resources strategy. HDR, a longtime partner, was hired to produce the Hollister Urban Area Water and Wastewater Master Plan. The 20-year plant would chart a course for developing projects and programs to provide a sustainable water supply to support growth.
Also addressed in the plan:
- Quality of drinking and recycled water
- Reliability of the water supply
- Coordinating water, wastewater improvements
- Balancing regional water resources, including high groundwater
Working with the city, county, district and stakeholders, HDR assessed water supply and infrastructure against future needs. A comprehensive planning process was used to draft and evaluate alternatives. From those alternatives, a preferred plan—de-mineralizing urban wells and importing water from the San Juan Sub-basin—was identified. In a four-phase capitalization plan, water facilities and infrastructure, including a de-mineralization plant and wastewater treatment expansion, will be completed.