Strategic Planning Session
Monterey Peninsula Water Management District
April 25, 2002
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM in the District conference room.
Board members present: Kris Lindstrom, Chair - Division 4
Zan Henson, Vice Chair - Division 5
Alvin Edwards - Division 1
Judi Lehman - Division 2
Molly Erickson - Division 3
David Pendergrass - Mayoral Representative
David Potter - Monterey County Board of Supervisors
Staff members present: Rick Dickhaut, Chief Financial Officer
Henrietta Stern, Project Manager
Andy Bell, Engineering Manager
Joe Oliver, Water Resources Manager
Darby Fuerst, Senior Hydrologist
Arlene Tavani, Executive Assistant
II. Pledge of Allegiance
The assembly recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
III. Oral Communications
The following comments were directed to the Board. (1) Jennifer McNight, representing the Pacific Grove Action Committee, requested that District staff review the conditions of approval for a special circumstances permit for the Forest Hill Manor Project approved by the Board of Directors on November 19, 2001, and consider rescinding the permit. According to Ms. McNight, the project approved by the Board is different from the project that was presented to the City of Pacific Grove. A letter dated April 26, 2002 that outlines Ms. McNight's request is on file at the District office. (2) David Dilworth, representing Helping Our Peninsula's Environment (HOPE), stated that if Directors do conduct site visits, the public should be invited to attend. In addition, the public should be advised of all private meetings that applicants offer to schedule with Directors.
IV. Review Discussion and Action Items from February 21, 2002 Strategic Planning Session
Chief Financial Officer, Rick Dickhaut, reported on the status of the strategic planning initiatives that were discussed at the February 21, 2002 meeting. (1) Development of Long-Term Water Supply Project EIR/EIS - work is progressing and further discussion was set for that evening. (2) Development of the Seaside Basin Management Plan - the Board will discuss this initiative later in the evening. (3) Revision of the Water Permit Process -- the Board directed staff to develop a request for proposals for consulting services to assist with completion of the initiative. The request for proposals is nearly complete and staff has begun contacting potential consultants. (4) Increase Innovative and Effective Conservation Processes -- per direction of the Board on February 21, 2002, the initiative will be delayed until the Water Permit Process initiative is complete. No public comment was directed to the Board on this item.
V. Update on MPWMD Water Supply Project EIR/EIS
The Board received presentations from Henrietta Stern, Project Manager, and Michael Rushton of Jones and Stokes. Copies of their presentations are on file at the District office.
Following a lengthy discussion, there was consensus among the Directors that in order for the Board to make a future decision on the project goal and scope, an incremental approach should be taken. The cost and environmental impacts of various projects would be presented. These program elements could be combined into projects with production levels from 15,285 acre-feet to 17,600 acre-feet. There was a suggestion that a production level in excess of 17,600 should also be presented. The proposed projects would assume existing California-American consumption levels. The incremental approach would allow the public to see the cost and environmental effects of projects that meet the minimum production requirement of 15,285, and to see the additive costs of increasing water production beyond the minimum amount at various levels. The Board decided that structuring the study in this manner would provide a true no-growth scenario. It would also present options for additional water that could be used for various purposes such as lots-of-record, additional conservation, drought reserve or to make up for a drift in conservation habits. This approach would also preserve the Plan A, A+ and B, B+ comparison. The Chair requested that the Board be advised of any increase in costs that could be expected for preparation of these expanded studies.
Chair Lindstrom also agreed to contact Congressman Sam Farr and seek his assistance with setting up a meeting with representatives of local and federal agencies that are involved with permitting water supply projects. The goal is to determine agency support for the District's proposed water supply projects, and discuss the feasibility of accomplishing all the steps necessary to complete the water supply project EIR by the November 2003 deadline. There was a suggestion that this meeting be open to the public and that the City of Seaside be invited to participate.
The following comments were directed to the Board. (1) John Fischer, a resident of Pacific Grove, asked about the timing of development of a regional desalination project. (2) Patricia Bernardi disagreed with the characterization of the components of a 17,600 acre-foot project presented that evening. She stated that it might be more acceptable if the 1,200 acre-feet of water for lots of record were not included in the project and that a 15 percent conservation level should be included. (3) Edwin Lee asked if production from the Seaside Groundwater Basin was excluded from SWRCB Order 95-10 production limits. District staff explained that the Seaside Basin is subject to the one-to-one replacement provision of Order 95-10. Mr. Lee asked if 3,000 acre-feet of water were taken from the Carmel River and pumped into the Seaside Basin, would Cal-Am need to reduce pumping by 3,000 acre-feet. Chair Lindstrom replied that Cal-Am would be required to reduce pumping. (3) David Dilworth, representing HOPE, stated that Plan B should be compared directly to a no growth dam that meets the criteria of SWRCB Order 95-10. He suggested that any project that includes water for growth should be placed on the ballot so the public can decide if they want to fund construction of a project that would allow an increase in population. (4) Fran Farina expressed support for comments made by Ms. Bernardi and Mr. Dilworth. She suggested that a meeting of federal policy makers should be scheduled to discuss the feasibility of the proposed water supply projects. A similar meeting was organized by Leon Panetta in the 1980s to discuss the New San Clemente Dam Project.
VI. Discuss Development of Seaside Basin Ground Water Management Plan
Darby Fuerst, Senior Hydrologist, presented information to the Board on this topic. A copy of his presentation is on file at the District office.
Chair Lindstrom directed District staff to present to the Board at the May 20, 2002 Board meeting a time line and plan for development of an ordinance focused on management of the Seaside Groundwater Basin. It was suggested by some Directors that the process should be completed within four months. There was also support for allowing a six month period for preparation of the ordinance. During the discussion, the Directors emphasized the importance of including stakeholders in ordinance development. Once the precepts of the plan are in place, the District could consult with the stakeholders on development of an ordinance. The stakeholders could assist with development of factual information on the amount of water they are pumping, water quality and their projected needs. However, one Director did state that the stakeholders should participate in the discussion, but should not "dictate what goes on." The Board did not define "stakeholder", however, it was suggested that the cities of Seaside and Sand City be involved and that the Policy and Technical Advisory Committees would review the ordinance. One primary objective of the ordinance should be water quality, since there is a possibility that reclaimed wastewater will be used in the basin. A definition of water "importers" should also be included. There was also a request by one Director that the time line include preparation of an initial study.
The following comments were directed to the Board during the public comment period on this item. (1) David Dilworth, representing HOPE, recommended that the District develop an ordinance in the short-term and investigate development of a basin management plan in the long term. Mr. Dilworth suggested that construction of a three-dimensional model of the Seaside Basin would be useful to the staff and members of the public. (2) Patricia Bernardi, representing Save Our Carmel River (SOCR), proposed that the Board authorize development of a basin management plan with the assistance of a stakeholders group. According to Ms. Bernardi, a basin management plan would describe how excess winter flows taken from the Carmel River for an aquifer/storage and recovery project would be utilized. She noted the importance of ensuring that the water would not be wasted.
Director Edwards left the meeting at approximately 10:00 PM, following discussion of the Seaside Basin Ground Water Management Plan.
VII. Status of Laguna Seca Subarea Phase III Hydrogeologic Update
Joe Oliver, Water Resources Manager, prepared a presentation for the Board. A copy of the presentation is on file at the District office. There was no further direction from the Board on preparation of the update. However, in response to a request from the audience, Chair Lindstrom asked District staff to advise the Board what additional resources would be needed to improve the quality of maps developed in association with the study.
No public comment was directed to the Board on this item.
Director Potter left the meeting at approximately 10:30 PM, following discussion of the Laguna Seca Subarea Phase III Hydrogeologic Update.
VIII. Discuss MPWMD Newsletter Proposal
A copy of Mr. Dickhaut's presentation to the Board is on file at the District office. Following a brief discussion, there was consensus among those present to proceed with development of a newsletter. Director Erickson stated that the Public Outreach Committee would discuss the newsletter proposal.
The following persons addressed the Board during the public comment period on this item. (1) David Dilworth suggested that instead of spending money to mail a newsletter, it would be more cost effective to publish the information presented in the newsletter in the Monterey County Herald. (2) Tex Irwin, representing the Monterey Peninsula Airport District (MPAD), advised the Board that when MPAD researched the cost to distribute a newsletter, it found that direct mail would reach the largest number of readers.
IX. Discuss Stakeholder Process at MPWMD
A copy of Mr. Dickhaut's presentation to the Board is on file at the District office.
Chair Lindstrom directed District staff to present a proposal for establishment of a new stakeholder group at the June 17, 2002 Board meeting.
During the discussion, it was suggested that the Carmel River Advisory Committee be eliminated. The Board also proposed that a true advisory stakeholder group be created that would represent a microcosm of the community. It would include an equitable distribution of representatives such as the hospitality industry, environmental interests, residential representatives, recreationists, water purveyors, planning professionals, water quality stakeholders and others. Alternates should be appointed and a regular meeting schedule established. The committee would be charged to provide input to the Board on various issues. It would not be necessary for the committee to achieve consensus on every item. The committee could present to the Board more than one viewpoint on an issue. The Board could decide whether the new stakeholder group will replace the Policy and Technical Advisory committees or work in conjunction with them. It was suggested that the new stakeholder group be modeled after the Carmel River Watershed Council in regards to the method in which committee members are selected. Chair Lindstrom suggested that the new stakeholder group could provide advice, make recommendations, and develop technical analysis for the Board. It would allow for a thorough airing of the issues early on when new proposals are being developed.
The following comments were received during the public comment period on this item. (1) David Dilworth advised that the Carmel River Advisory Committee be abolished. He suggested that persons who own property along the Carmel River have a conflict of interest and should be prohibited from serving on the CRAC. Mr. Dilworth described the Technical Advisory Committee as a rubber stamp for the Policy Advisory Committee and said they provide no benefit to the District. (2) Patricia Bernardi stated that it is important to have a broad spectrum of ideas on the committee, and that ownership of property should not preclude participation on the committee.
X. Update on Major Policy Calendar
Mr. Dickhaut advised the Board that the Major Policy Calendar was not ready for distribution. Director Erickson requested that the Calendar be presented to the Board at the May 20, 2002 Board meeting.
XI. Public Comment
John Fischer stated that there are some strengths and many weaknesses in the plan for completion of environmental studies on an EIR by October 2003. According to Mr. Fischer, the time line will not be met.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:15 PM.
Ernesto A. Avila, Clerk to the Board