Meeting Date:           March 17, 2003                      Budgeted: N/A

Program/Line Item No.: N/A

Staff Contact:             Henrietta Stern                      Cost Estimate: N/A


General Counsel Approval:  N/A     

Committee Recommendation: N/A

CEQA Compliance: N/A



This is a brief monthly update on the water supply augmentation strategic initiative for the period February 20 through March 14, 2003.  The most recent detailed quarterly report was prepared in January 2003; the next quarterly report will be written in April 2003.  The primary work efforts reflect Board direction at strategic planning workshops and regular Board meetings held since September 2001.  The most recent Board action was taken at the January 30, 2003 meeting.  Currently, three priority efforts for the District involve water augmentation, as follows:


Priority 1 -- proceed with aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) test project (also known as “injection/recovery”) while simultaneously evaluating long-term water supply options;

Priority 3 -- develop work plan to implement Seaside Basin Groundwater Management Plan; and

Priority 4 -- develop storm water management plan (integrated into Priority 1).


Priority 1 - EIR/EIS on Water Supply Project

At its March 18, 2002 meeting, the Board authorized the Phase 1 Environmental Impact Report (EIR) scope of work to be performed by Jones & Stokes Associates (JSA) the primary environmental consultant, and its engineering services subcontractor Camp Dresser & McKee (CDM) for a not-so-exceed amount of about $724,000.  The Phase 1 engineering work has focused on developing project descriptions for non-dam alternatives based on engineering assessments that go beyond the general concepts found in the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) “Plan B” non-dam alternative report.   The Phase 1 environmental work included issuance of a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of the EIR in June 2002, public hearings on the NOP and receipt of written comments in July 2002, and review of policy issues elicited by the comments in July and August 2002.  


At its August 29, 2002 meeting, the MPWMD Board voted 4-3 to not approve the Phase 2 scope of work to prepare the Draft EIR/EIS, and instead directed that key Phase 1 engineering tasks be first completed, and more information obtained about pertinent topics before moving forward.  The needed information included:  perform detailed review of Plan B Final Report released by the CPUC in August 2002 to assess data still required for the EIR; determine California-American Water Company (Cal-Am) plans for a dam or Plan B; confirm lead agency status with the CPUC, and confirm U.S. Army plans regarding role as federal lead agency.  A status report on these topics was presented at the November 14, 2002 strategic planning workshop


At its August 29 and September 16, 2002 meetings, the Board also directed staff to add a new “Task 2-0” to define the streamflow regime that would sustain the existing Carmel River habitat and dependent species.  This information would be used as the basis of defining thresholds of significance in the EIR, that is, a numerical value used to determine whether a project impact is significant or not as compared to the existing situation.  At the August 29 meeting, the Board understood that the goal of certifying an EIR by October 2003 would likely not be achieved due to the extra time needed for Task 2.0 as well as delays not in the District’s control relating to access to engineering data.


Key activities by District staff and consultants in the February 20-March 14, 2003 period include:


                   Developed refined scope of work, time line and cost estimates associated evaluation of various water supply projects in a Draft EIR for Board consideration at its March 27, 2003 workshop and special meeting.  Developed additional information on local desalination options.


                   Continued dialog with Cal-Am regarding its decision to pursue a Moss Landing desalination project combined with a small ASR project, called the Coastal Water Project (formerly known as “Plan B”), rather than a new dam on the Carmel River.


                   Staff reviewed second administrative draft of Phase 1 engineering evaluation report and provided comments to the consultant.  Consultants are making revisions for presentation of a public draft at the March 27, 2003 workshop. The report includes combinations of water supply projects to meet three production targets as well as cost information.


                   Distributed the March 2003 draft Carmel River Flow Threshold Report to agencies and groups for a 60-day comment period. 


                   Awaited adequate Carmel River streamflow to re-initiate year 2003 test of the full-scale test injection well in the Seaside Basin; SWRCB permit allows testing through May 2003.   


                   Continued computer modeling to support a Water Availability Analysis requested by the SWRCB to assess the MPWMD Petition for Change for diversion of up to 7,909 acre-feet per year from the Carmel River.  Provided technical information and provided a field tour for SWRCB staff, who are developing a water availability analysis for non-Cal-Am Carmel River water diverters.


Priority 3 - Seaside Basin Groundwater Management Plan

Based on Board direction in April and June 2002, staff developed a scope of work for a technical, environmental and legal review of conceptual ordinances associated with a long-term groundwater management plan.   The firm of Jones & Stokes was the only firm that responded to the Request for Proposals, and a contract was authorized in December 2002.  Key activities in the February 20-March 14, 2003 period include:


                   Continued working with Jones & Stokes Associates and subcontractors to conduct environmental review and facilitate public outreach for ordinances relating to the Seaside Basin Groundwater Management Plan.   Set March 26, 2003 as date for stakeholder and public meetings on Seaside Basin management.


Related Water Augmentation Activities

The following table briefly summarizes recent action on related water augmentation efforts.







Test full-scale injection test well on former Fort Ord; continue testing pilot well, as appropriate.


District began injection testing on January 24, 2003; testing was suspended on January 30 due to inadequate river flow.  Approximately 20 AF injected; awaiting renewed flow pending rainfall. 


Obtain SWRCB temporary permits for Water Year 2002 test period; begin process to obtain long-term water rights.


SWRCB issued temporary permit for year 2003 testing season on January 22, 2003. District is developing information requested by SWRCB for the long-term permit.


Participate in CPUC hearings on proposed dam and Plan B.


District staff and consultants continue to incorporate usable information from Plan B Report into the EIR.  On February 11, 2003, Cal-Am announced its intent to pursue a Moss Landing desalination plant plus ASR (Coastal Water Project, previously known as “Plan B”) rather than a dam. 


Finalize legal lot/remodel study to include data from County of Monterey; incorporate into water project EIR.


In the absence of County data for Phase II, MPWMD staff in Fall 2002 developed interim Phase II estimates for the County along with a rough estimate of total water use. 


Provide leadership to ensure compliance with SWRCB Order 95-10; pursue relaxation of one-for-one offset.


Community water use has remained below year-to-date targets since December 2001.  District staff continues coordination with Cal-Am to encourage conservation.


Continue evaluation of feasibility of sediment removal from San Clemente and Los Padres Reservoirs.


Staff continues coordination and oversight of California Department of Water Resources and Cal-Am action on San Clemente Dam. No action on Los Padres Dam.


Continue pursuit of storm water reuse opportunities in cooperation with ongoing regional efforts.


Meeting with jurisdictions as opportunities allow. Incorporating storm water reuse as an alternative for evaluation in the EIR/EIS. 



Water Distribution System Permits

Staff implements District Rules and Regulations that govern water distribution systems within the District.   District staff receives many calls each month from people who are planning to submit applications or have other questions about ordinances governing water distribution systems.  District staff also responds to written requests for information.


Ordinance No. 105, which further refines the Rules and Regulations that govern water distribution systems within the District, became effective on January 15, 2003.  The regulatory area in Carmel Valley for single-parcel connection systems now includes the entire Carmel River watershed within the District boundary, rather than being limited to the alluvial aquifer or 1,000 feet from the alluvial aquifer and certain named tributaries.  On February 27, 2003, the Board approved the second reading and adopted Ordinance No. 106 amending permit application fees.  The ordinance becomes effective on Monday, March 31, 2003.


District staff is currently processing one permit application to amend the Cañada Woods Water Distribution System.  The District awaits technical information that it requested from the applicant.

CEQA Documents

The District logs incoming notices and comments on selected CEQA documents prepared by other agencies for projects within the District boundary that could potentially affect water supply, quality or environmental resources managed by the District.  Comment letters sent in the mid-February to mid-March 2003period include the City of Del Rey Oaks Redevelopment Plan for the former Fort Ord.