16. MONTHLY WATER SUPPLY PROJECT STATUS REPORT
Meeting Date: September 15, 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 August 18 through September 12, 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 Seaside Basin 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 environmental consultant, and its engineering services subcontractor Camp Dresser & McKee (CDM). The primary environmental product was the draft Carmel River Flow Threshold Report. The primary engineering product was the Phase 1 Engineering Report, which developed project descriptions for non-dam alternatives to meet three yield goals. 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, preparation of a Draft EIR. 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 of 8,409 acre-feet per year (AFY) as the proposed project to be evaluated in detail. Alternatives to be evaluated in less detail include: Coastal Water Project (9,400 AFY Moss Landing desalination plant plus 1,300 AFYASR project), Carmel River Dam and Reservoir Project, reclamation, storm water reuse, off-stream storage, and the No Project alternative. The Phase 2 scope of work also includes hydrogeologic and 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 Spring 2004 and hold an authorizing vote on financing the project in November 2004.
Key activities by District staff and consultants from August 18 through September 12, 2003 include:
Ø Prepared formal notice to California-American Water Company (Cal-Am) and Final Findings of Denial associated with August 18, 2003 action by MPWMD Board to deny Cal-Am’s application to construct a new Carmel River Dam and Reservoir Project.
Ø Obtained partial payment of overdue invoices from Cal-Am ($252,860) and continued discussion about the remaining amount.
Ø Participated in September 3 multi-party meeting with California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Commissioner Geoffrey Brown, and attended September 4, 2003 hearing, where the Commission adopted a July 16, 2003 Proposed Decision. Components of the Decision include: dismiss Cal-Am application for a new Carmel River dam and reservoir without prejudice; require Cal-Am to submit a new application for the Coastal Water Project (CWP); assert that the CPUC should be the lead agency for the CWP in consultation with other agencies; and make various rate-setting determinations.
Ø Continued to pursue permits for geotechnical (test wells) and geophysical tests (depth soundings) for HDD wells. To date, permits have been received from: Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Department of Parks and Recreation, City of Sand City, and City of Seaside. Permits from the California Coastal Commission and U.S. Army are expected by the end of September.
Ø Prepared first administrative draft text for most chapters of the Draft EIR; other chapters are in preparation with a completion goal of the end of September for first draft. District staff is reviewing chapters submitted to date. Met with state and federal fishery agencies regarding the methodology to be used to assess alternative project impacts on the Carmel River steelhead resource. Completed computer modeling to support the analysis of impacts on hydrology and aquatic resources.
Ø Prepared follow-up information from meeting with State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) staff on July 29, including additional engineering information requested by SWRCB on MPWMD Petition for Change for long-term ASR project.
Ø Continued monitoring effects of 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 August 18 through September 15, 2003 period include:
Ø Began preparation of Administrative Draft EIR on the two proposed ordinances associated with the SBGWM;
Ø Informed participants of MPWMD Board approval on August 28 of a modified 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.
Water Distribution System Permits
Staff implements District Rules and Regulations that govern water distribution systems (WDS) within the District, as most recently amended by Ordinances No. 96, 105 and 106. On August 28 the Board approved the application to amend the Chugach WDS. On September 4, staff informed Cal-Am that its application to amend the Ryan Ranch WDS was incomplete, and identified specific information needed for the application to be complete. Staff also awaits information about the 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. In this reporting period, a comment letter was sent to the Seaside City Council requesting that a condition be placed on the First Tee Project to require the water source to emanate from an area other than the seaside Basin.