24. WATER SUPPLY PROJECT STATUS REPORT
Meeting Date: December 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 November 17 through December 12, 2003. The most recent detailed quarterly report was prepared in October 2003; the next quarterly report will be written in January 2004. 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 on Water Supply Project
At its March 18, 2002 meeting, the Board authorized the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Phase 1 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 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 primary environmental products were the Notice of Preparation for the EIR/Scoping Report and the Carmel River Flow Threshold Report. Phase 1 activities ended as of 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: California-American Water Company’s (Cal-Am) proposed 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 associated with confirming the feasibility of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) wells (“slant drilling”) for seawater collection and brine disposal for the Sand City desalination project. The Board’s 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 in the November 17 through December 12, 2003 period include:
Ø District consultants and staff prepared the “Board Review Draft” EIR for receipt by the MPWMD Board at its December 15, 2003 meeting. Many hours were spent reviewing, editing and refining chapter text on a variety of subjects for the two-volume document. Engineering consultants conducted revised computer modeling and wrote a revised draft technical memorandum on radial and HDD well capacities.
Ø In compliance with permits from seven federal, state and local entities, District consultants completed geotechnical and geophysical tests to better define the shallow dune aquifer characteristics as they relate to the feasibility of HDD wells. District consultants drilled four borings and completed four wells—two on the former Fort Ord, one in Sand City, and one in Seaside. Aquifer tests were conducted at the well sites, and on-shore geophysical (sonic) testing occurred along the beach in several locations near the test wells. The consultants are currently analyzing the collected data; reports are due in February–March 2004.
Ø District staff met with State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) staff on December 2, 2003 to continue discussion of District water rights applications and related technical information. Public comments on MPWMD’s application for a temporary permit to continue testing of the MPWMD full-scale injection/recovery well in the Seaside Basin in 2004 were received in mid-November, and District staff prepared responses. Recently, staff learned that one protestant has been given a time extension to December 17 to submit comments. This will delay SWRCB permit issuance for the year 2004 test season.
Ø District staff, in cooperation with Cal-Am, completed several weeks of tests gauging the rate of recovery of injected water from the District’s ASR full-scale test well in the Seaside Basin in addition to several water quality tests. About 168 AF were injected in 2003, with 940 AF injected since the program began in 1996. About 440 acre-feet were recovered in year 2003, the first year of recovery tests. The recovered water was provided free of charge to Cal-Am for community use. District staff and consultants are preparing a report on the 2003 ASR investigation results, which will be received by the Board at its January 29, 2004 meeting.
Ø District staff 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. The San Clemente Dam sediment plume has now reached the upstream face of the dam, and may impede Cal-Am operations in the near future. District staff continues to assess changes in river turbidity and impact of sediment released from the dam on the MPWMD Sleepy Hollow steelhead rearing facility.
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 Seaside Basin Groundwater Management Plan. In December 2002, the firm of Jones & Stokes was retained to perform this work. Activities in the mid-November through mid-December 2003 period include:
Ø The District’s motion to intervene in a lawsuit filed by Cal-Am to adjudicate the Seaside Basin was granted on November 7, 2003. Simultaneously, the District’s Complaint in Intervention was filed with the court, which seeks to ensure MPWMD’s role in protecting the basin. The Cal-Am lawsuit involves important issues of public concern such as: prioritization and quantification of water rights within the basin; rights to aquifer storage within the basin; rights to artificially introduce non-native water into the basin through direct injection or spreading grounds; a judicial determination that the basin is in overdraft; and the appointment of a water master to manage the water rights and resources of the basin.
Related Water Augmentation Activities
The following table briefly summarizes other relevant action on related water augmentation efforts.
Provide leadership to ensure compliance with SWRCB Order 95-10.
Community water use was less than the 11,285 AFY diversion limit from the Carmel River Basin in water year 2003. October 2003 use was higher than target goal, but November was lower, so year-to-date totals are below the limit. District staff continues coordination with Cal-Am to encourage conservation, and assess leakage rate by Cal-Am system.
Continue evaluation of feasibility of sediment removal from San Clemente and Los Padres Reservoirs.
Potential removal of sediment from San Clemente Dam continues to be explored by Cal-Am and the California Department of Water Resources. No action on Los Padres Dam.
Continue pursuit of storm water reuse opportunities in cooperation with ongoing regional efforts.
District encourages jurisdictions to incorporate innovative use of storm water and recycled water in planning process. Storm water reuse is considered in the water supply EIR.
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 (see District website). 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.
In mid-November through mid-December, no public hearings were heard on WDS applications. District staff is currently processing six permit applications: create system for non-alluvial components of Cañada Woods WDS (non-potable and reclaimed water supply); amend Ryan Ranch (Cal-Am) WDS to facilitate a workforce housing project; create two single-parcel potable water WDS in Carmel Valley; and create two single-parcel non-potable (irrigation only) WDS in Carmel Valley.
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, water quality or environmental resources managed by the District. No comment letters were transmitted by the District in this reporting period.