19. CONSIDER ADOPTION OF JULY THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2003 QUARTERLY WATER SUPPLY STRATEGY AND BUDGET
Meeting Date: July 21, 2003 Budgeted: N/A
General Counsel Approval: N/A
Committee Recommendation: N/A
CEQA Compliance: Notice of Exemption, CEQA, Article 19, Section 15301 (Class 1)
ESA Compliance: Consistent with the September 2001 Conservation Agreement between the National Marine Fisheries Service and California-American Water Company to minimize take of listed steelhead in the Carmel River
SWRCB Compliance: Consistent with SWRCB WR Order Nos. 95-10, 98-04, 2002-0002
SUMMARY: The Board will accept public comment and take action on the July through September 2003 Water Supply Strategy and Budget for the California-American Water Company (Cal-Am) Water Distribution System (WDS). The proposed budget, Exhibit 19-A, is based on near normal year inflow conditions for the remainder of the Water Year 2003 (WY 2003). Specifically, the budget utilizes inflows that are expected to be exceeded about 50 percent of the time at San Clemente Dam. The proposed strategy and budget is designed to maximize the long-term production potential and protect the environmental quality of the Seaside and Carmel Valley basins. This item was continued from the June 16, 2003 meeting because of time constraints.
Exhibit 19-A shows the anticipated production by Cal-Am for each production source. Exhibit 19-A also shows actual production values for the water year to date. Please note that the anticipated production values shown assume an annual Cal-Am production totaling 15,285 AF, including 4,000 AF from the Seaside Ground Water Basin and 11,285 AF from the Carmel River Basin. The total from the Carmel River Basin is consistent with SWRCB Order Nos. 95-10 and 98-04.
RECOMMENDATION: The Board should receive public input, close the Public Hearing, and discuss the proposed water supply budget. District staff recommends adoption of the proposed budget. The budget is described in greater detail in Exhibit 19-B, Quarterly Water Supply Strategy Report: July – September 2003.
BACKGROUND: The Quarterly Water Supply Strategy and Budget pertains to production within the Cal-Am Water Distribution System for the three-month period of July, August, and September 2003. This strategy was developed cooperatively with staff from the District, Cal-Am, California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). With continued near normal flows, the proposed budget does not allow Cal-Am to divert any water, via direct diversion from San Clemente Dam to the Carmel Valley Filter Plant, except in the case of emergency conditions. This limitation is consistent with the 4d rules adopted by the NMFS to protect steelhead rearing habitats and with the Conservation Agreement (CA) between NMFS and Cal-Am, that governs diversions during low-flow periods. For purposes of the CA, the low-flow periods are defined as times when streamflow in the Carmel River at the MPWMD gage at Don Juan Bridge in Garland Park is less than 20 cfs for five consecutive days. This year, streamflow receded below 20 cfs at this location during the second week of July, and is expected to remain below the 20 cfs threshold for the remainder of WY 2003.
Streamflow had declined below 40 cfs at the MPWMD gaging station at Highway One Bridge, in mid-May 2003. As a consequence, Cal-Am representatives agreed to increase production from Cal-Am wells in the coastal subareas of the Seaside Basin during the last week of May 2003. This change was consistent with requirements in SWRCB Order 98-04, requiring that Cal-Am minimize production from the Seaside Basin when Carmel River flow exceeds 40 cfs at Highway One.
Agency representatives met with Cal-Am to discuss the July-September 2003 budget on June 3, 2003. Previously, representatives from the District, Cal-Am, CDF&G and the NMFS met on April 30, 2003, to negotiate the 2003 Memorandum of Agreement (2003 MOA) that governs the releases and diversions from Los Padres and San Clemente Reservoirs during the May-December 2003 period. Although negotiations on the 2003 MOA are stalled due to a disagreement on how to operate Cal-Am wells in the upper valley, the group agreed on flow conditions and operations during the July-September period. Accordingly, the diversion and release rates specified for the July-September 2003 Water Supply Strategy and Budget are consistent with the proposed terms and assumed inflow conditions in the 2003 MOA. Based on flows to date, the group is expected to reconvene in late July 2003 and adjust the release rates accordingly.
During the April 30 and June 3, 2003 meetings the group discussed the loss of the San Carlos production well in the lower Carmel Valley. This well has been taken out of service due to the federal Surface Water Treatment Rule. In past operations, the San Carlos well could produce approximately 1,000 gallons per minute (gpm) or 4.45 acre-feet per day. Loss of this production capacity will constrain Cal-Am’s ability to meet system demands during peak periods and increase the extent of drying river channel and associated risk of stranding juvenile steelhead in the lower Carmel River.
Rule 101, Section B of the District Rules and Regulations requires that a Public Hearing be held at the time of determination of the District water supply management strategy. Notice of this Public Hearing has been published in The Herald. Adoption of the quarterly water supply strategy and budget is categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements as per Article 19, Section 15301 (Class 1). A Notice of Exemption will be filed with the Monterey County Clerk's office, pending Board action on this item.
 Under the 4d rules adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service on July 10, 2000, the Take Guidance Section, Item E. (page 42472 of the FR Vol. 65, No 132) prohibits removing water or altering streamflow when it significantly impairs spawning, migration, feeding or other essential behavioral patterns.