Strategic Planning Session

Monterey Peninsula Water Management District

Board of Directors

January 16, 2002

I. Call to Order/Roll Call

The meeting was called to order at 8:15 AM in the MPWMD Conference Room.

Directors present:

David Potter, Chair - Monterey County Board of Supervisors

Alvin Edwards, Vice Chair - Division 1

Judi Lehman - Division 2

Molly Erickson - Division 3

Kris Lindstrom - Division 4

Alexander Henson - Division 5

David Pendergrass - Mayoral Representative

Staff members present:

Ernesto A. Avila - General Manager

Andy Bell - Planning & Engineering Manager/District Engineer

Henrietta Stern - Project Manager/Public Information Representative

Rick Dickhaut - Administrative Services Manager/Chief Financial Officer

Joseph Oliver - Water Resources Manager

Stephanie Pintar - Water Demand Manager

Darby Fuerst - Senior Hydrologist

Sara Ramos - Senior Office Specialist

Arlene Tavani - Executive Assistant

District Counsel present: David C. Laredo

II Pledge of Allegiance

The Chair led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.

III. Oral Communications

The following comments were directed to the Board. (1) David Dilworth, representing Helping Our Peninsula's Environment, reviewed a letter dated January 10, 2002 that is on file at the District office. Mr. Dilworth suggested several ways that the District could maximize public participation and offered ideas for changes in direction that the Board could take. He asked the Board to investigate the events that led up to development of agreements related to the CAWD/PBCSD Wastewater Reclamation Project. He alleged that the agreements may not be "completely valid." (2) John Fischer thanked District staff for presenting the Water Augmentation Projects Planning Process chart. He stated that the focus of the Board's discussion should be storm water reuse and conservation. (3) Terry Ryan, representing the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee, urged the Board to work with the California-American Water Company (Cal-Am) on development of a water augmentation Plan C. He proposed that through "cooperation and collaboration" the District and Cal-Am could resolve the problems between them and develop a solution to the water supply situation.

IV. Review Discussion and Action Items from September 5, 2001 Strategic Planning Session

Mr. Garcia reviewed the list of eleven strategic planning initiatives the Board had identified on September 5, 2001 and also highlighted the five initiatives the Board had established as priority items.

V. Review District Mission and Vision Statement

Richard Garcia reviewed changes the Board had proposed for the District's Mission and Vision statements at the September 5, 2001 Strategic Planning Session. The Directors decided to take no action on amending the Mission and Vision statements until after the strategic planning process was complete and agreement was reached on work plan implementation and associated time lines.

VI. Discuss EIR/EIS Process

The Directors agreed that the presentation on this item should be deferred to later in the agenda, if time was available. Michael Rushton of Jones & Stokes did provide a brief explanation of how the process could be modified to reduce the time needed for CEQA and NEPA review. The presentation is on file at the District office.

VII. Review Work Plans for Strategic Planning Initiatives

A. Evaluate and Certify Water Augmentation Projects in Compliance with CEQA and NEPA

Henrietta Stern gave a presentation, a copy is on file at the District office. During the Board discussion on this item, the Directors focused on the schedule for completion of an EIR on a water supply project and suggested ways the time line could be shortened.

Discussion ensued on the role of Cal-Am in development of Plan B, an aquifer storage and recovery project (ASR), or desalination project and funding the environmental documentation associated with each project. Wayne Morgan of Cal-Am stated that Cal-Am would consider making an investment in funding construction of a desalination plant at Moss Landing. He stated that although the proposed Carmel River Dam is an adequate solution to the water supply situation, there may be a combination of other, environmentally preferable projects the PUC might approve even if they cost more than the dam. According to Mr. Morgan, the best approach would be for the District and Cal-Am to partner together and identify all the components of a complete solution, then schedule development of each component.

The Board discussed the possibility of conducting a public hearing as soon as possible on the approval or denial of Cal-Am's application to the District to amend its water distribution system permit for construction of the Carmel River Dam Project. It was noted that if the District denied the permit, the Carmel River Dam Project would need to be analyzed at a program level as an alternative in an EIR on another water supply project. If the permit were denied, the District would have to fund the program level assessment.

The Board directed staff to write a letter to Cal-Am requesting that they withdraw their application to amend the water distribution system for construction of the Carmel River Dam Project. That would allow Cal-Am and the District to work together to identify another viable project that would solve the water supply situation such as a combination of ASR, desalination, wastewater reclamation and storm water reuse. Cal-Am could then submit another application to the District for the new jointly-developed project. The project should meet the shortfall identified in SWRCB Order 95-10 and provide water for lots of record. The goal would be to complete environmental review of this project before November 2003. General Manager Avila noted that storm water reuse could be readily incorporated in this EIR/EIS initiative, and that this was recommended in the storm water presentation. The Board concurred that storm water reuse be incorporated in this EIR/EIS initiative. General Manager Avila stated that at the February 28, 2002 Board meeting, the Directors would consider authorizing funds to contract with Jones & Stokes on preparation of a project level review of ASR and desalination.

B. Revise the Water Permit Process

Stephanie Pintar gave a presentation which is on file at the District office. The Directors discussed a proposal to abandon the fixture-unit methodology when assessing water-use credit for remodel projects, and replace it with formula based on a five-year record of actual water use. This proposal could only be implemented if accurate Cal-Am consumption data were made available to the District. There was also a discussion on whether or not the District should proceed with preparation of an update to the Water Allocation Program EIR. District Counsel Laredo explained that if the Board were to revise the water permit process for remodel projects so that there is no net increase in water use, a mitigated negative declaration would be sufficient. CEQA review would be required if revisions to the water permit process entailed a change to the fixture-unit methodology, water-use factors or in the amount of water available for water permits. That review could be an update to the Allocation Program EIR. The Board agreed to discuss the Revise the Water Permit Process Work Plan in detail at a future study session.

C. Develop Seaside Basin Ground Water Management Plan

Joseph Oliver gave a presentation, a copy is on file at the District office. The Board discussed ways to compress the time line on development of the plan. It was noted that it will be important to define and identify stakeholders. In addition, the scope of the plan should be defined prior to meeting with the stakeholders. There was some discussion on the scope of the plan, should it focus on defining the resources in the Seaside Basin, or should it also include a plan for allocating water in the basin? No decision was made at the meeting. According to District Counsel Laredo, development of the management plan will not delay preparation of the water supply project EIR. District staff is not aware of any grant funding available for preparation of a management plan. However, having a plan in place will be helpful when applying for grant funding for projects in the Seaside Basin. Information in the plan will be considered if the Allocation Plan EIR is updated.

D. Develop Storm Water Reuse Plan

General Manager Avila's recommendation to incorporate this initiative into the Water Supply Augmentation EIR/EIS initiative was endorsed by the Board.

E. Increase Innovative and Effective Conservation Practices

There was no discussion of this item due to time constraints.

VIII. Review of District Action Plans to Clearly Identify Who? What? When? How? Etc.

The Board directed staff to schedule another study session in February 2002 to discuss elements of the Revise Water Permit Processes Work Plan. At that time the Board would like staff to present some clarity on the scope of the work plan and how plan objectives would be met. Additionally, General Manager Avila noted that a funding and resource implementation plan for Board authorized initiatives would be presented in February 2002.

IX. Discuss the Future Role or Existence of the Carmel River Advisory Committee

There was no discussion of this item.

X. Review Status of Board Code of Conduct

There was no discussion of this item.

XI. Public Comment

The following persons directed comments to the Board. (1) David Dilworth complemented staff on the presentations. He was encouraged to hear staff acknowledge the budgetary constraints on development of strategic planning initiatives. Mr. Dilworth was displeased with the format of the meeting because public comment was not allowed during discussion of each agenda item. (2) John Fischer congratulated the Board on their decision to write a letter to Cal-Am requesting that the application to amend its water distribution system for the Carmel River Dam be withdrawn. He suggested that a representative from the plumbing industry should educate home and apartment owners on the use of cisterns. Mr. Fischer proposed development of a storm water or cistern demonstration project.

XII. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 12:05 PM.


Ernesto A. Avila, Secretary to the Board