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Developing Water Sources for Individual Water Systems (IWS)

Individual Water Systems
Santa Cruz County has established standards for safe and adequate water supplies for individual water systems that ensure that such systems do not induce contamination of aquifers and therefore jeopardize the health, safety, and welfare of the community. Individual water system means any combination of water sources, storage facilities and related appurtenances which provides domestic water service to either:
(1)    A single parcel under one ownership with not more than four dwelling units or other permitted land uses on the parcel;
(2)    Up to four parcels, if:
   (a)    All parcels served are either contiguous with one another or are contiguous with the parcel on which the water source is located; provided, that public or private rights-of-way shall not be taken into consideration in determining contiguity; and
   (b)    The water source(s) is located on one of the parcels served; and
   (c)    Each parcel owner has not less than a one-quarter interest in the water system (source, facilities and appurtenances) and a sufficient legal interest in the land upon which it is located to guarantee access thereto and a right to the use thereof; and
   (d)    All of the parcels taken together have a total of no more than four dwelling units or other permitted land uses existing on them.
 Before you may proceed with development of a property dependent on an individual water supply, you must apply for and obtain an Individual Water system Permit.
  • Flow Chart For Development Utilizing Individual Water Systems
  • Chapter 7.73: Santa Cruz County Code Individual Water Systems
  •  Individual Water System Guidelines and Instructions
  • Application for Individual Water System Permit
  • Application for Well Permit
  • Spring Development Guidelines