Meeting Date:           February 19, 2004                              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 January 5 through February 13, 2004.  The most recent detailed quarterly report was prepared in January 2004; the next quarterly report will be written in April 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 December 15, 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 product was the draft Carmel River Flow Threshold Report.  Phase 1 activities concluded as of April 4, 2003.


On March 27 and April 2, 2003, the MPWMD Board approved the scope of work for Phase 2, which focuses on preparation of a Draft EIR on water supply options.   The Board directed that the Draft EIR evaluate an 8,400 acre-foot per year (AFY) desalination project in Sand City at the project level of detail.  Alternatives to be evaluated at the program level of detail include:


Ø      California-American Water Company’s (Cal-Am) proposed Coastal Water Project (CWP), comprised of a 9,400 AFY desalination plant at Moss Landing plus ASR (about 1,300 AFY);

Ø      ASR plus desalination at Sand City;

Ø      Cal-Am’s proposed Carmel River Dam and Reservoir Project; and

Ø      No Project alternative. 


At its May 2, 2003 special meeting, the Board approved funding for consultants to obtain permits from several agencies in order to conduct geotechnical (test wells) and geophysical (depth soundings) and to better characterize the coastal dune aquifer.  This information is an important element in determining the feasibility of using the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) “slant well” technique for seawater intake and brine discharge for the Sand City desalination project. 


At its December 15, 2003 meeting, the Board received the “Board Review Draft” EIR.  The Board directed that identified corrections be made to the Board Review Draft EIR in January 2004, but voted to not release the EIR for public comment, pending the results of the geotechnical and geophysical fieldwork, particularly the findings on the maximum capacity of the Sand City desalination site using the HDD well technology.  The Board will hold a special workshop on March 31, 2004 to receive two reports on the field test results, and provide direction to staff at that time. 


Notable activities in the January 5 through February 13, 2004 period include:


Ø      District consultants provided replacement pages for the December 2003 “Board Review Draft” EIR to reflect corrected information that was received in December 2003, after the EIR was printed.   The interim EIR may be purchased on CD for $5, and hard copies are available for review at the District office.


Ø      District consultants conducted a second offshore geophysical (sonic) test in calm seas to confirm the accuracy of previous data that was collected in heavy seas, which can introduce errors.  The consultants are currently analyzing the collected data, and are preparing reports to be presented to the Board on March 31, 2004. 


Ø      District staff continued coordination with State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) staff regarding pending MPWMD water rights applications and related technical information. In a January 14, 2004 letter, the SWRCB staff rejected MPWMD’s request to consider in-lieu recharge for the Seaside Basin.  The in-lieu recharge concept entails Cal-Am diversion of more than the allowed 11,285 AFA from the Carmel River in wet years to reduce extractions from the Seaside Basin so that it can recharge.  The current SWRCB Order 95-10 requires Cal-Am to maximize pumping in the Seaside Basin, which has contributed to lowering water levels.  


Ø      District staff received temporary permit from the SWRCB for continued testing of the MPWMD full-scale injection/recovery well in the Seaside Basin in 2004.  However, Carmel River flows are currently not high enough to divert water to the ASR facility.     


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 prepared a report on the 2003 ASR investigation results, which was received by the Board at its January 29, 2004 meeting.  


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.   The firm of Jones & Stokes was retained to prepare an EIR on the ordinances in December 2002.  Notable activities in the January 5 through February 13, 2004 period include:


Ø      The District continues to participate in legal processes related to a lawsuit filed by Cal-Am on August 14, 2003 to adjudicate the Seaside 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.  In January 2004, the City of Seaside filed a motion asking the Court to limit the District’s authority to manage water resources in the Seaside Basin.  Resolution of these legal issues may take many months. 


Ø      Because of the adjudication issue, the District advised all interested parties that District efforts on an EIR on the two conceptual ordinances are terminated.  Near-term efforts will focus on the development of a Management Plan in compliance with protocols set by the State of California (AB 3030 as amended by SB 1938). 

Related Water Augmentation Activities

The following table briefly summarizes 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.  Water use is below month-to-date targets through January 2004.  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.


District staff continued monitoring effects of sediment emanating from San Clemente Dam on the downstream river habitat and the MPWMD Sleepy Hollow steelhead rearing facility.  Sediment reached the face of San Clemente Dam in late 2003, and has affected Cal-Am operations.  District staff participates in agency technical committee meetings to address means to remove sediment while minimizing harm to the environment.  The California Department of Water Resources serves as the lead agency in this effort.


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.  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 the February 2, 2004 Board workshop, staff reviewed the history of WDS and well regulation ordinances, and presented a new three-level concept to streamline the regulatory process.  The Board directed that development of a new WDS ordinance should wait until mid-2004 due to other pressing priorities. 


No public hearings were heard on WDS applications in this reporting period, but six permit applications are in process: 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.   


CEQA Documents

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.   The District did not comment on any documents during this reporting period.  The District adopted a Negative Declaration for MPWMD Ordinance No. 111 refining residential water credits on January 29, 2004, and transmitted a Notice of Determination on adoption of the ordinance on February 3, 2004.