Case Study

Case Study: Watsonville Water Resources Center, Watsonville, California

Waterworks: Four separate agencies collaborated to create an integrated water management and educational showcase for an agricultural region of California.

Water is the story at the Watsonville Water Resources Center. Water conservation and watershed education were at the core of nearly every design decision for this new interpretive center, water quality laboratory, and administrative office that, for the first time, brings the city’s water management officials together under one roof.

Watsonville is in the Pajaro Valley in California’s central coast region—an agricultural hotbed that is highly dependent on water for irrigating crops. To mitigate the drawdown of groundwater and prevent wastewater discharges into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Watsonville operates a large-scale water-recycling project on a site outside the city, providing recycled, UV-treated water to the $400-million local agriculture industry. However, the city’s water management officials were scattered in different offices and a new, integrated facility was needed to further the mission of water conservation and public watershed education. That facility is the new Watsonville Water Resources Center, a 16,000-square-foot building co-located with the water-recycling project.

Published February 23, 2017