Town Hall Meeting/Special Meeting
Board of Directors
1. Welcome/Pledge of Allegiance
The meeting was called to
order at 7 PM in the Embassy Suites Hotel in
2. Introductions/Purpose of Meeting/Format for the Evening
Chair Foy introduced the panelists. He explained that the Board would make no decisions that evening. The focus of the meeting was to hear from each panelist and receive comments from the public. A question and answer period would be conducted, followed by a public comment period.
A. Coastal Water Project sponsored by California-American Water Company – Steve Leonard, Vice President and Manager Coastal Division
A summary of Mr. Leonard’s presentation is on file at the District office.
B. North Monterey County Desalination Project, sponsored by the Pajaro/Sunny Mesa Community Services District – Marc Del Piero, District Counsel
Mr. Del Piero reported that
the Pajaro/Sunny Mesa Community Services District (PSMCSD) proposes to
construct a 21,000 to 23,000 acre-foot desalination project to meet regional
water needs. The PSMCSD worked for two
years to develop a lease agreement for a 20-acre site in Moss Landing for the
regional desalination plant. The site
has a seawater intake and outfall, and 9 tanks that vary in capacity from 3 to
7 million gallons. The project is
intended to provide water to correct an 11,000 acre-feet overdraft in the
Long-Term Water Supply Project/Desalination, sponsored by the Monterey
Peninsula Water Management District –
A summary of Ms. Stern’s presentation is on file at the District office.
D. Aquifer Storage and Recovery in Seaside Basin, sponsored by the
Monterey Peninsula Water Management District –
A summary of Mr. Oliver’s presentation is on file at the District office.
E. Regional Urban Water Augmentation Project sponsored by Marina Coast Water District (MCWD) and Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency – Mike Armstrong, General Manager MCWD
A summary of Mr. Armstrong’s presentation is on file at the District office.
F. Groundwater Recharge Project sponsored by Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency – Keith Israel, General Manager
A summary of Mr.
G. Regional Urban Water Supply Policy Board, a shared governance concept to guide regional solutions to water supply needs, facilitated by Monterey County Water Resources Agency. Presentation by Curtis Weeks, General Manager
A summary of Mr. Week’s presentation is on file at the District office.
H. Overview of Water Supply Project Comparative Matrix (update in progress) by Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD); next steps for MPWMD Board. Presentation by Dave Berger, General Manager
Mr. Berger thanked the panelists for their presentations. He announced that an updated version of the Comparative Matrix of Water Supply Options developed by District staff with input from the various water supply project proponents would be completed by early September 2005. The document was available at the District’s web site, and would be discussed at the Board of Directors’ September 8, 2005, Strategic Planning Workshop.
4. Question and Answer Period
Question: Hank Smith, Carmel River Steelhead Association, asked Mr. Del Piero to explain why the PSMCSD desalination project proposal is preferable to California American Water’s (Cal Am) Coastal Water Project.
Del Piero replied that the PSMCSD project would provide a regional solution to
satisfy the 10,730 acre-feet shortfall in the Cal Am system, and over-pumping
Question: Joe Vierra stated that the Board should not abandon
construction of a dam on the
Smith, a resident of
Answer: Mr. Del Piero replied that alternative power sources could not provide enough energy to operate the desalination plant. However, solar technology could be integrated into the plant design to power a portion of the project. The cost of desalination has been radically reduced over time.
Mr. Leonard – The critical need for energy production is not limited to the proposed desalination project. The energy needs of the desalination project will be addressed in the same context as all power needs.
Mr. Weeks – Effective use of energy must be part of any proposed water project.
Mr. Armstrong – Our project is likely to take advantage of micro turbine generation which is extremely efficient.
Question: Susan Goldberg asked Mr. Leonard and Mr. Del Piero to explain how each proposes to complete construction first.
Answer: Mr. Leonard -- Cal-Am has already begun the permitting process by preparing a Proponents Environmental Assessment (PEA) for the Public Utilities Commission, the lead agency.
Mr. Del Piero – PSMCSD estimates that as lead agency for their own project, it can be constructed by 2008 or 2009. PSMCSD maintains that its lead agency status means that fewer permits are needed and review by other agencies is also reduced. The pilot project should be constructed within the next 75 days and will operate for a year.
Question: Susan Goldberg asked when the Coastal Water Project would be constructed.
Answer: Mr. Leonard responded that the project should be completed by December 2008.
Question: Clive Sanders, representing the Carmel River
Watershed Conservancy, commented to Mr. Del Piero that producing desalinated
water and selling it will not help the
Answer: Mr. Del Piero stated that flow is needed in
Question: Yvette (no last name stated) asked the panelists to compare the benefits of the proposed desalination plants. She asked if similar projects were constructed in other communities.
Answer: Mr. Berger noted that the Comparative Matrix of Water Supply Options that is being updated by the District would provide the requested information.
Mr. Leonard – There are two
desalination plants in
Question: David Dilworth, representing Helping Our Peninsula’s Environment (HOPE), asked how each project proponent will ensure that the public has an opportunity to vote on the water supply projects.
Answer: Mr. Del Piero stated that since Mr. Dilworth lives outside of the PSMCSD boundary, he would not have an opportunity to vote on that project.
Mr. Leonard – Our project may not be brought forward for a public vote. The persons who make the decisions are democratically elected. There is no need to place the project on the ballot.
Mr. Armstrong – I don’t envision a public vote on our project.
Mr. Weeks – If a governance structure is formed, we have not yet identified how authority would be shared.
Question: Ron Chesshire asked if Cal Am is for sale.
Answer: Mr. Leonard responded that the company is not for sale.
Question: Ron Chesshire asked how the Board would use information obtained from a proposed study on the cost for public acquisition of Cal Am.
Answer: Chair Foy stated that only questions related to proposed water supply projects would be answered that evening.
Question: Ron Chesshire asked Mr. Leonard if Cal Am would move forward on releasing water from its project for growth, or if collaboration with other agencies is needed before that water could be released.
Answer: Mr. Leonard replied that Cal Am’s proposal is for 11,030 acre-feet of water. Alternatives with higher production have been developed in response to requests from the PUC. Cal Am’s preferred proposal is to provide replacement water for the 10,730 acre-feet shortfall identified by the SWRCB on Order 95-10. Additional environmental review must be completed if the project is to be sized to allow an increment of water for growth.
Question: George Riley, a resident of
Answer: Mr. Leonard replied that Cal Am maintains
Question: Madeleine Clarke asked Mr. Weeks why the public has not been allowed to participate in the RUWS governance planning process.
Answer: Mr. Weeks stated that he is working on
development of a management agreement that would be distributed to all the RUWS
participants for their review and discussion, which will foster public debate
about formation of the RUWS governance board.
He noted that he has made presentations at various venues throughout
Question: Madeleine Clarke asked why the public and media have not been allowed to participate in the management group meetings that are focused on formation of the RUWS governance board.
Answer: Mr. Weeks responded that the water managers are developing ideas regarding formation of the RUWS governance board that will be brought to the publicly elected city council and agency boards for review and discussion. The public debate should occur at that level.
Question: Madeline Clark asked Mr. Foy why the District
doesn’t assert its authority and partner with Cal Am for construction of the
Coastal Water Project, since it will provide water for the
Answer: Mr. Foy stated that the idea has been discussed. He noted that the Coastal Water Project is still in the planning stage, and would be located outside of the District’s management authority.
Question: Paul Bruno asserted that Nadar Agha could earn between 106 and 160 million dollars over a twenty-year period according to the lease agreement he has with PSMCSD. According to Mr. Bruno, that is equal to $265 per acre-foot of water which is a 40 percent increase over the present rate paid for Cal Am water. Mr. Bruno asked if the $265 per acre-foot included in the estimated cost for the PSMCSD project is a fair deal for the ratepayer?
Answer: Mr. Del Piero stated that the $265 per acre-foot estimate is incorrect. The agreement calls for payment of $100 for every acre-foot of water produced. He explained that the project would save ratepayers money because it proposes use of an existing intake and outfall. Also, existing storage tanks can hold an eleven-day supply of seawater. This will allow intake water to be collected and stored for use when the Duke Energy plant is not in operation.
Question: John Fischer, resident of
Question: Barbara Williams, resident of Castroville, asked if there are plans for the community to utilize only available water resources, instead of creating new water projects.
Answer: Mr. Foy stated that per-capita water use on
Mr. Armstrong listed water conservation measures adopted by the Marina Coast Water District including installation of re-circulating hot water systems or point-of-use systems and high efficiency washing machines in all new homes. All landscaping plans must include evaporation- transpiration controllers. In addition, waterless urinals are required for all commercial and industrial facilities.
Mr. Leonard mentioned that Cal Am distributes thousands of low-flow showerheads each year. Cal Am considers water conservation to be a priority. It is the “water supply” Cal Am has depended on over the past few years.
Mr. Weeks reminded the group
that there are several recycled water projects in
Question: Lynn Morris, resident of
Answer: Mr. Weeks stated that the agencies have
memorandums of understanding to ensure there is no duplication of
services. The District has management
responsibility for the
Question: Manuel Fiero asked what would happen if one agency is unwilling to join the RUWS governance board and another agency says all must participate?
Answer: Mr. Weeks explained that all the management group members are focused on collaborative development of a solution.
Question: Alvin Edwards asked Steve Leonard if source
water for the aquifer storage and recovery component of the Coastal Water
Project will come from the
Answer: Mr. Leonard stated that the water would come
from the desalination project or the
Question: Alvin Edwards asked Mike Armstrong if the Marina Coast Water District (MCWD) had plans to connect to the regional desalination project.
Answer: Mr. Armstrong stated that the MCWD is aware of both the PSMCSD project and the Coastal Water Project. The challenge for MCWD is to decide when to pursue its own project, or if it is better to participate in a regional project.
Question: Alvin Edwards asked Mr. Del Piero how the PSMCSD project would be funded.
Answer: Mr. Del Piero listed bonds, certificates of participation and prime financing as possible funding sources.
Question: Alvin Edwards asked Mr.
Question: Mr. Edwards asked Mr. Weeks if money allocated from Proposition 50 funds could be distributed to a private company.
Answer: Mr. Weeks doubted that funds could be distributed to private companies.
Question: Mr. Edwards asked Mr. Weeks who would vote
first on the RUWS management agreement, would it be
Answer: Mr. Weeks said it should be brought to the city councils in September 2005 before it goes to the Board of Supervisors.
Question: Bruce Smith asked if he could get a copy of
the cross-section of the
Answer: District staff member
Question: Ed Childs asked Steven Leonard to comment on the rate of loss in the Cal Am system.
Answer: Mr. Leonard described the loss as “unaccounted for water,” which is water that is metered but is not charged to any customer. Cal Am’s unaccounted for water is 9.2 percent of production. The industry standard is 10 to 15 percent and the District’s goal is 7 percent.
Question: Mr. Foy read a question handed him from a member of the public. The question was to Steven Leonard and asked what desalination projects Cal Am has built or managed separate from its parent company.
Answer: Mr. Leonard stated that the company has not
built a desalination plant in
5. Public Comment
Ron Chesshire asked Mr. Leonard if Cal Am was for sale. Mr. Leonard replied that it was not.
Ron Chesshire asked Chair Foy to explain what the District would do with the proposed report on the cost for public acquisition of Cal-Am, if the voters do approve preparation of the study. Chair Foy replied that the information would be provided to the community.
Ron Chesshire asked Mr. Del Piero if it was true that PSMCSD has agreements with two entities related to construction of the proposed desalination project. Mr. Del Piero replied that one agreement is with Poseidon Resources Corporation for preparation of an EIR and development of cost estimates for various components of the project. There is also a lease agreement for the project site.
William Clark asked Mr. Foy to explain why the Board of Directors made a decision on May 16, 2005 to reject an opportunity to save 500 gallons of water per year. Mr. Berger noted that Mr. Clark was referring to a decision made by the Board on May 16, 2005 to deny a request for a variance filed by Ms. Deborah Gramespacher. Mr. Clark referred to correspondence sent to the District and dated August 25, 2005, which is on file at the District office.
Joe Vierra asked if previous
proposals to construct a dam on the
Paul Bruno asked Mr. Foy to explain how the District arrived at the estimated cost of $500,000 for preparation of a report on public acquisition of Cal Am, since a similar report done in the 1960’s cost nearly seven hundred thousand dollars. Mr. Foy explained that the $500,000 equates to a 1% surcharge on each customers’ Cal Am water bill. No analysis or proposal was received by the District related to the cost for such a study. Mr. Bruno asked if it was reasonable to assume that a report which cost seven hundred thousand dollars in 1960, would cost less to prepare in 2005. Mr. Foy replied that he did not know of anything that would cost less in 2005 than it did in 1996.
David Dilworth, representing
HOPE, requested that a public vote be conducted for all projects. He stated that HOPE supports a combination of
projects including a desalination plant in
John Fischer expressed a desire to review the updated Comparative Matrix of Water Supply Options. He urged project proponents to provide all the information required by District staff to complete the Matrix, including the cost for mitigation measures and monitoring.
Alvin Edwards stated that the cost to Cal Am ratepayers would be approximately one dollar per month for preparation of a study on public acquisition of Cal Am.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:30 PM.
David A. Berger, Secretary to the Board