15. MONTHLY WATER SUPPLY PROJECT STATUS REPORT
Meeting Date: August 18, 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 July 16 through August 15, 2003. The most recent detailed quarterly report was prepared in July 2003; the next quarterly report will be written in October 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 May 2, 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). The Phase 1 engineering work focused on developing project descriptions for non-dam alternatives to meet three yield goals; the primary environmental product was the draft Carmel River Flow Threshold Report. Phase 1 activities were completed on April 4, 2003.
On March 27 and April 2, 2003, the MPWMD Board considered the scope of work for Phase 2, which focuses on preparation of a Draft EIR document. Additional refinements to the scope of work were approved on May 2, 2003. The Board identified a local desalination project in the Sand City area with a yield goal is 8,409 acre-feet per year (AFY) as the proposed project to be evaluated in detail. Alternatives include Moss Landing desalination, ASR, reclamation, storm water reuse, off-stream storage, and the Carmel River Dam and Reservoir Project to be evaluated in less detail. The Phase 2 scope of work also includes engineering studies of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) wells (“slant drilling”) for seawater collection and brine disposal for the Sand City desalination project. The goal is to complete the Final EIR in March 2004 and hold an authorizing vote on financing the project in November 2004.
Key activities by District staff and consultants from July 16 through August 15, 2003 include:
Ø Prepared Findings and staff note for August 18 MPWMD Board consideration of denying Cal-Am’s application to construct a new Carmel River Dam and Reservoir Project.
Ø Commented on July 16, 2003 Proposed Decision by California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) administrative law judge, who recommended that the California-American Water Company (Cal-Am) application for a new Carmel River dam and reservoir be denied without prejudice; that a new application be prepared for the Coastal Water Project (Moss Landing desalination project); that the CPUC should be the lead agency for the CWP; and made various rate-setting determinations. The District concurred with the CPUC Proposed Decision except for the lead agency issue; MPWMD believes it should be the lead agency.
Ø Continued to pursue permits for geotechnical (test wells) and geophysical tests (depth soundings) for HDD wells from: U.S. Army, Regional Water Quality Control Board; California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR); California Coastal Commission; City of Sand City; and City of Seaside. Received permits from CDRP and Sand City; received approval from City of Seaside on August 13.
Ø Prepared rough draft text for two chapters of the EIR (Introduction and Project Description); continued assessment of environmental impacts of the water supply alternatives for the EIR, including biological resources, cultural resources, traffic, noise, air quality and others. Began coordination with state and federal fishery agencies regarding the methodology to be used to assess alternative project impacts on the Carmel River steelhead resource.
Ø Met with State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) staff on July 29 to discuss a variety of water rights issues, including pending MPWMD applications. 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. Submitted MPWMD water rights application to SWRCB on August 7 for temporary testing of ASR full-scale test well in December 2003- May 2004 period.
Ø Continued monitoring effects of Cal-Am’s drawdown of the water level in San Clemente Reservoir on MPWMD steelhead fish rescue and rearing activities downstream of the dam. Assessed changes in river turbidity and impact of sediment released from the dam on the MPWMD Sleepy Hollow steelhead rearing facility.
Ø Continued coordination with Cal-Am and State Department of Health Services regarding year 2003 testing of the water recovery component of the ASR full-scale test well in the Seaside Basin.
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 two conceptual ordinances that would regulate water use in the Seaside Basin until a long-term Seaside Basin Groundwater Management Plan (SBGMP) is completed and implemented. The firm of Jones & Stokes Associates was the only firm that responded to the Request for Proposals, and a contract was authorized in December 2002. Key consultant and staff activities in the July 16 through August 15, 2003 period include:
Ø Began preparation of Administrative Draft EIR on the two proposed ordinances;
Ø In consultation with agency staff, refined a proposed draft Addendum No. 2 to a 1991 interagency agreement between Monterey County Water Resources Agency, Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency and MPWMD regarding water resources management of the Seaside Basin within the former Fort Ord area. The Board will consider the Addendum at its August 28 meeting.
Water Distribution System Permits
Staff implements District Rules and Regulations that govern water distribution systems within the District, as most recently amended by Ordinances No. 105 and 106. District staff is currently processing two multiple-parcel system applications and one single parcel application as follows: (1) amend Chugach WDS, (2) amend the Ryan Ranch Unit of Cal-Am to facilitate a workforce housing project, and (3) create Berube WDS. 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.
At its March 17, 2003 meeting, the Board approved retention of a consultant to assist with water distribution system regulations. The consultant’s primary tasks are development of a procedures manual for hydrologic and well testing, preparing revised application forms and guidelines for applicants, and helping staff review application materials.
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. No comment letters were sent in this reporting period.