20. CONSIDER APPLICATION TO AMEND CAÑADA WOODS WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM PERMIT
Program/Line Item: N/A
Staff Contacts: Andy Bell, Henrietta Stern Cost Estimate: N/A
General Counsel Approval: Reviewed staff note, findings and conditions
Committee Recommendation: N/A
CEQA Compliance: EIRs certified by Monterey County in 1994, 1995, and 1996
SUMMARY: The Board will consider whether or not to approve Application #20021031CAN by the Carmel Development Company to amend the existing Cañada Woods Water Distribution System (CWWDS) permit approved in 1995 by annexing new territory into the system as well as making certain facilities changes described below. The October 31, 2002 application to amend the permit (without attachments) is provided as Exhibit 20-A. The entire package of application materials and related correspondence is available for review at the District office.
The current CWWDS is designed to serve the approximately 550-acre subdivision in Carmel Valley known as Cañada Woods, as shown in the map provided as Exhibit 20-B. The application does not propose changing the current production and connection limits for the CWWDS. Proposed changes to the current CWWDS permit include:
Ø Increase the service area by approximately 397 additional acres to serve Cañada Woods East as shown in Exhibit 20-B (adds APN# 169-011-011 and -017 to the service area);
Ø Replace one water well (River Well #2 to replace Willow Well);
Ø Construct additional water distribution and storage facilities as described in the application.
This action is considered to be a precursor to additional water distribution system permit applications and/or amendments anticipated in the future that (1) will add sub-potable and reclaimed water uses not now recognized in existing permits, and (2) may consolidate adjacent potable water systems. Exhibit 20-C provides a list and brief explanation of the various project areas and systems referred to in the application and supporting documents. More detailed information is provided in the “Background” and “Discussion” sections below.
RECOMMENDATIONS: District staff recommends that the Board take the following actions:
Ø Adopt the MPWMD Findings of Approval for Application #20021031CAN shown as Exhibit 20-D with specific reference to District compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). As a responsible agency, the District relies upon Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) and other environmental documents prepared for and certified by Monterey County. Exhibit 20-E is a list and description of environmental documents pertinent to the subject application that were provided to the MPWMD Board for review on May 29, 2003 in anticipation of a June 16, 2003 public hearing.
Ø Approve Application #20021031CAN with the Conditions of Approval specified in Exhibit 20-F. These include required conditions as specified in MPWMD Rule 22-D as well as several special conditions for the CWWDS. For example, Condition #20 requires the applicant to submit a future permit application to consolidate the CWWDS with the adjacent Monterra Ranch WDS, consistent with water system permits previously issued by the CPUC, in order for MPWMD to consider any increase in the number of residential connections allowed by the permit.
BACKGROUND: The following paragraphs provide background relevant to the application.
Water System History
The CWWDS permit was approved by the MPWMD Board on May 15, 1995, and Amended Conditions of Approval were issued with that same date (Attachment 2 to Exhibit 20-F). At that time, only wells drawing from the alluvial aquifer existed, and the MPWMD permit anticipated delivery of potable, non-potable and reclaimed wastewater. Since then, additional wells have been drilled in the Carmel Valley Upland area for various uses. The CWWDS is not served by the California-American Water Company (Cal-Am), except for a small number of pre-existing residential and commercial connections.
The Carmel Valley alluvial aquifer is tapped by five CWWDS wells: River Well #1, River Well #2, Field Well, West Well (also known as Dog Leg Well) and Willow Well. River Wells #1 and #2 are intended to provide potable supply to the Cañada Woods and Cañada Woods East areas once permits from State and County health authorities are obtained. Non-potable supply is currently used for irrigation of organic vegetables and flowers on 37 acres in Carmel Valley as well as for landscape irrigation and construction activities. The applicant proposes to employ River Well #2 as a “replacement backup well,” replacing the existing Willow Well as a backup supply in case of failure of River Well #1. The Willow Well is proposed to remain as a monitoring well rather than be destroyed.
The potable system includes a water treatment plant, fire service mains, and various water transmission and storage facilities. The application for amendment to the CWWDS permit includes additional water distribution and storage facilities to serve the Cañada Woods East area. The proposed potable system also includes installation of a “two-way dual metering” system connected to storage facilities located in Cañada Woods North, to be shared with the Monterra Ranch potable system. The “two-way dual metering” system is intended to ensure that the quantity of water extractions from the alluvial aquifer approved by State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) remains in the Carmel Valley watershed. Non-potable supply comes from the Field Well and the West Well (also known as the Dog Leg Well).
Three additional wells are located within the non-alluvial portion of the CWWDS service area: Water Tower Well, Dam Well, and Parcel N Well. Water from these well is used for landscape irrigation and construction within the existing and proposed CWWDS service area, and for irrigation of the golf course located in the Monterra Ranch WDS service area. Although the applicant reports water production for these wells to MPWMD, the uses are not recognized in the CWWDS or Monterra Ranch WDS permits.
Currently, most of the service area is undeveloped, except for agricultural uses, some existing residential and commercial connections served by Cal-Am, and infrastructure for proposed residential development and the potable water system. Permits have yet to be issued for the potable system by State and County health authorities. Future planned uses include estate homes, caretaker or senior citizen units, employee apartment units, and a limited number of commercial uses.
When additional wells and infrastructure began to be constructed, both within and outside the CWWDS service area, the District advised the permittee of the need to amend the May 15, 1995 permit to reflect the current activities and proposed uses. Letters to that effect were transmitted to the applicant in October 1999 and November 2000. Starting in January 2002, MPWMD staff began requesting information from representatives of CWWDS and Monterra Ranch WDS regarding existing and proposed water sources and uses within the two systems’ service areas. The exchange of information resulted in the filing of the application to amend the CWWDS permit on October 31, 2002. By letter dated May 23, 2003, MPWMD deemed the application to be complete (Exhibit 20-G).
Application #20021031CAN was submitted on October 31, 2002 with related information submitted on November 1 and November 15, 2002. Additional information has been provided by the applicant through May 2003 in response to written requests by the District. The entire package of application materials and related correspondence is available for review at the District office. Initial application materials in the file include:
Ø MPWMD Form IG96-5, October 31, 2002 Application for Water Distribution System Permit, including the Supplemental Questionnaire, continuation pages and exhibits (there is no Exhibit A). This application form, without attachments, is provided as Exhibit 20-A;
Ø Application Exhibit B —June 1995 Initial Study, Technical Appendices, and Monterey County Board of Supervisors Resolution No. 95-384
Ø Application Exhibit C —February 27, 2001 Petition for Change to State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB)
Ø Application Exhibit D – “TMF” binder with Technical, Managerial and Financial Information required by the State Department of Health Services;
Ø Application Exhibit E – Two July 1996 Water Supply Reports prepared by Questa Engineering Corporation;
Ø Application Exhibit X – Large-scale map of system with existing and proposed additional water distribution and storage facilities;
Following discussions with MPWMD staff, the applicant submitted a letter amending the original application:
Ø May 1, 2003 letter from applicant agreeing to amend the October 31, 2002 application (rescinds request for additional residential connections). This letter is provided as Exhibit 20-H. (In this letter, the applicant refers to 44 residential lots in existing approvals, and a total of 54 lots if the service area is expanded to include Cañada Woods East. The correct numbers are 45 single family connections in the current permit and “55 homes” in the October 31, 2002 application to amend the CWWDS permit.)
Other information provided by applicant in response to MPWMD data requests or collected by MPWMD in connection with the application includes:
Ø environmental review documents and Resolutions of Approval by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors related to the subject application;
Ø detailed engineering drawings and maps of existing and proposed facilities, including a proposed intertie with the potable water system for the Monterra Ranch WDS;
Ø technical reports and information on existing and proposed wells;
Ø materials associated with application to and approval by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC);
Ø materials associated with application to Monterey County Health Department (MCHD) for a Domestic Water Supply Permit for the potable water system to serve the CWWDS;
Ø materials associated with water rights permits issued by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), Petitions for Change to those permits filed by the applicant, and amended water rights permits issued by the SWRCB;
Ø waste discharge permit issued by California Regional Water Quality Control Board for collection and treatment of wastewater from the CWWDS and Monterra Ranch WDS service areas and use of the resulting reclaimed water for irrigation of the golf course located in the Monterra Ranch WDS service area;
Ø correspondence and information transmitted between the applicant and MPWMD staff, including MPWMD requests for information and applicant responses.
Other Agency Permits
Exhibit 20-I is a listing of authorizations related to the CWWDS that have been issued or are under consideration by various agencies. These include permits or other authorizations issued by Monterey County Board of Supervisors, California Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Public Utilities Commission, State Water Resources Control Board, and Monterey County Health Department. It is notable that the CPUC has issued approvals for water and wastewater collection and treatment systems for a service area that includes both the Monterra Ranch WDS and existing and proposed CWWDS service areas as combined systems.
By letter dated March 26, 2003, the District informed the applicant that permits for the CWWDS and the Monterra Ranch WDS should be combined into a single water distribution system permit, or that separate applications for each system for which a permit is required, including sub-potable and reclaimed water uses, be completed at a single time, so that all aspects may be reviewed and acted on together. At a meeting held on April 24, 2003, the applicant explained that such action would have adverse economic impacts and that certain permit decisions by other agencies are still pending, making it difficult to accurately describe a consolidated system or set of systems. Thus, the District’s Acting General Manager determined that the District would hold a hearing on the current application to amend the CWWDS permit, with the understanding that a condition will be placed on the permit requiring subsequent inclusion of sub-potable and reclaimed water uses. Condition #19 of the Conditions of Approval (Exhibit 20-F), requiring that on or before August 29, 2003, the permittee must file one or more complete applications to add sub-potable and reclaimed water sources and uses to the permits for the CWWDS and the Monterra Ranch WDS, formalizes this understanding.
In addition, the applicant agreed that in order for the District to consider adding to the number of residential connections allowed under the CWWDS permit, an application to combine the potable water systems for Cañada Woods and Monterra Ranch into a single WDS permit must be filed. The understanding regarding the requirement to consolidate the two potable water systems is reflected in a May 1, 2003 letter from the applicant (Exhibit 20-H) agreeing to amend the permit application to remove the request for additional residential connections at this time. This understanding is further reflected in the final completeness letter from MPWMD to the applicant dated May 23, 2003 (Exhibit 20-G, page 2), which also contains a summary of correspondence and activity associated with the permit application since its receipt in October 2002. Condition #20 of the Conditions of Approval (Exhibit 20-F) formalizes this understanding.
DISCUSSION: The following paragraphs address several aspects of the application.
Findings of Approval
The Findings of Approval (Exhibit 20-D) are based on evidence provided in the application materials (Exhibit 20-A) and supporting documents on file at the District office. Staff believes the application meets the criteria and minimum standards set by District Rule 22. Pertinent information includes certified environmental documents, technical studies and reports, water rights approvals, and public utility approvals, as well as conditions to be imposed on the approved application (Exhibit 20-F). Based on the certified EIRs for the Cañada Woods, Cañada Woods East, and Cañada Woods North projects, as well as the hearing record and CEQA compliance for the State Water Resources Control Board water rights approvals for the project, MPWMD approval of the application to amend the CWWDS is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse effect on the Carmel River or other water resource.
Production Limit. The existing MPWMD permit for the CWWDS, consisting of the Amended Conditions of Approval dated May 15, 1995 (Attachment 2 to Exhibit 20-F), includes a system capacity (production) limit temporarily set at 159.8 acre-feet per year (AFY) for potable and non-potable uses, to be subsequently changed to be “…consistent with future anticipated action of the [State Water Resources Control Board]” (Condition #5). The source of supply was not identified in the 1995 MPWMD permit but is assumed to be wells in the Carmel Valley alluvial aquifer because no other water source was available via wells at that time.
Appropriative water rights for the CWWDS referenced in the May 15, 1995 MPWMD permit were issued by the SWRCB on March 29, 1996. Initially, SWRCB Permits 20831 and 20832 allowed a maximum diversion amount of 147.0 AFY from the alluvial aquifer at a 30-day average diversion rate of up to 0.63 cubic feet per second (cfs). This limit could potentially be increased by 13 AFY (to 160 AFY) only when “… the New Los Padres Reservoir or alternative project acceptable to the Chief of the Division of Water Rights is operable.”
On May 2, 2003, the SWRCB issued an Order (Exhibit 20-J) approving petitions filed by the applicant to change certain aspects of Permits 20831 and 20832 (changes in point of diversion and place of use). As part of its action, the SWRCB further reduced the annual diversion limit from the alluvial aquifer. Amended SWRCB Permits 20831 and 20832 allow a maximum diversion amount of 118.44 AFY from the alluvial aquifer. This limit can be increased by 41.56 AFY (to 160 AFY) in accordance with a condition requiring certification by the Chief of the Division of Water Rights that an acceptable water supply project has been constructed which produces water to offset the California-American Water Company (Cal-Am) deficit identified in Water Rights Order 95-10. Under the amended SWRCB permits, water from the Carmel Valley alluvial aquifer is only allowed to be used on lots or portions of lots within the Carmel River watershed.
The District interprets the above information to mean that the CWWDS production limit from the Carmel Valley alluvial aquifer is 118.44 AFY beginning in Water Year 2003-2004 (October 1, 2003 through September 30, 2004). For the current water year (October 1, 2002 through September 30, 2003), the District will use the value of 147 AFY as the production limit from the Carmel Valley alluvial aquifer. The most recent CWWDS annual production from the alluvial aquifer reported to the District was 129.9 AF (October 2001-September 2002).
It is notable that in the CWWDS permit, no separate production amount is stated for non-alluvial sources of supply from three wells drawing water from the Carmel Valley Upland (non-alluvial) area. This is because: (1) the SWRCB does not address non-alluvial water sources, and (2) the existing MPWMD permit for the CWWDS did not anticipate the existence of these wells. Similarly, the use of reclaimed water on the golf course located in Cañada Woods North is not included in the Monterra Ranch WDS permit. Regardless of their status in existing permits, all production and use of sub-potable water from non-alluvial wells and the use of reclaimed water should be included in the respective WDS permits, along with annual production limits, pursuant to MPWMD Rule 40 (as recently amended by Ordinance No. 105). The most recent full year’s production from the three Carmel Valley Upland wells reported to the District was 45.7 AF (October 2001-September 2002). District staff recommends that the Conditions of Approval for the current application include a near-term timeline to set production limits for the non-alluvial components of the CWWDS and the Monterra Ranch WDS, and for use of reclaimed water. The applicant has indicated agreement with this concept. Consequently, Special Condition #19 of the Conditions of Approval (Exhibit 20-F) is recommended to be included in the amended CWWDS permit.
Connection Limit. The existing expansion capacity (connection) limit of 150 connections will not change. Although the October 31, 2002 application for amending the CWWDS permit (Exhibit 20-A) requests an increase in residential connections from the current 60 connections to a maximum of 124 connections, the applicant subsequently withdrew this request by letter dated May 1, 2003 (Exhibit 20-H).
Other Conditions of Approval
Conditions #1 through 17 of the Conditions of Approval in Exhibit 20-F are imposed consistent with MPWMD Rule 22-D governing approval of water distribution systems. Special conditions include Condition #18, which adds River Well #2 as a source of water for the CWWDS. Condition #19 is discussed above under “Future Anticipated Action on CWWDS Permit,” and also under “Conditions of Approval, Production Limit.” Condition #19 requires that on or before August 29, 2003, the permittee must file one or more complete applications to add sub-potable and reclaimed water sources and uses to the permits for the CWWDS and the Monterra Ranch WDS. Condition #20 is discussed above under “Future Anticipated Action on CWWDS Permit.” Condition #20 requires that the applicant submit a future application for a consolidated system that incorporates the many water supply sources and components before the District considers the applicant’s original October 2002 request to allow additional residential connections and reduced commercial connections to the system (150 connection limit does not change).
Condition #21 specifies extensive monitoring and reporting requirements for the CWWDS. These requirements parallel those for the Monterra Ranch WDS. Condition #22 requires the applicant to irrigate and maintain vegetation within the riparian corridor on applicant’s property in a satisfactory condition. This condition is added to protect riparian vegetation in the event that pumping from CWWDS wells, in combination with pumping in the vicinity by Cal-Am and other private pumpers, adversely impacts riparian vegetation. Irrigation facilities owned and operated by the applicant are currently in place within the riparian corridor within the CWWDS service area. Condition #23 is added to allow access to District representatives for inspecting and taking readings from water measuring devices, and for inspection of the riparian corridor.
Public notice has been provided no later than 10 days prior to this public hearing in several ways, including: (1) mailed notices to property owners within 300 feet of the Canada Woods and Monterra Subdivision boundaries; (2) posted notices along the perimeter of the Canada Woods and Monterra Subdivision boundaries as well as the District office; (3) mailed notice of the public hearing to recipients of District agendas for June 16, 2003; (4) notice of June 16, 2003 public hearings in The Herald; and (5) posting of the June 16, 2003 agenda on the District website.
Exhibit 20-A: Application #20021031CAN, dated October 31, 2002 (without attachments)
Exhibit 20-B: Location map of CWWDS and requested addition to service area
Exhibit 20-C: List of various project areas and water systems relevant to CWWDS permit action
Exhibit 20-D: Draft Findings of Approval for Application #20021031CAN
Exhibit 20-E: Environmental documents transmitted to MPWMD Board for review
Exhibit 20-F: Draft Conditions of Approval for Application #20021031CAN
Attachment 1: Map of CWWDS Service Area
Attachment 2: Amended Conditions of Approval for CWWDS, dated May 15, 1995
Exhibit 20-G: Final completeness letter from MPWMD, dated May 23, 2003
Exhibit 20-H: Applicant request (A. Williams) to amend application, dated May 1, 2003
Exhibit 20-I: List of other agency permits for CWWDS and related systems
Exhibit 20-J: State Water Resources Control Order Approving Changes in Place of Use and Point of Diversion and Amending the Permits (Permits 20831 and 20832), dated May 2, 2003
A. Bell, MAJOR REVISION #5, prepared 6/12/03 AM 7 pp