10. RECEIVE 2002-2003 ANNUAL MITIGATION PROGRAM REPORT
Meeting Date: March 15, 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 for report
SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATION: The Board should receive the 2002-2003 Mitigation Program Annual Report, and direct staff to distribute copies to resource agencies, local libraries, and advise the public of its availability. Copies may be purchased for the cost of reproduction. Staff recommends that the Executive Summary, shown as Exhibit 10-A, be placed on the District website. The Executive Summary provides an overview of the major accomplishments, observed trends, conclusions and/or recommendations.
The annual report reviews District activities that address the effects of community water use on the Carmel River environment in Fiscal Year 2002-2003 (FY 2003), defined as the 12-month period from July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2003. Please note that hydrologic data and all well reporting data are portrayed using a Water Year (October 1 through September 30) in order to be consistent with reporting required by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).
This report is the twelvth annual report since the Mitigation Program Plan was adopted by the District Board when it certified the MPWMD Water Allocation EIR in November 1990. The full report has been provided to the Board under separate cover, and is also available for inspection at the District office.
BACKGROUND: On November 5, 1990, the MPWMD Water Allocation Program Final EIR was certified by the MPWMD Board. The Board also adopted findings, and passed a resolution that set Option V as the new water allocation limit. Option V resulted in an annual production limit of 16,744 acre-feet (AF) for the California-American Water Company (Cal-Am) system. Presently, the Allocation Program sets a Cal-Am production limit of 17,641 AF/year based on new supply provided by the Paralta Well in Seaside and other changes since 1993. It is notable that restrictions on Carmel River diversions imposed by SWRCB Order WR 95-10 and by the District in relation to pumping from the Seaside Basin have limited actual Cal-Am production to 15,285 AF annually (AFA).
The Water Allocation EIR determined that even though Option V is the least damaging alternative of the five options analyzed, production at this level still may result in significant, adverse, environmental impacts that must be mitigated. Thus, the CEQA Findings adopted by the Board in 1990 included a "Five-Year Mitigation Program for Option V" and several general mitigation measures. The Five-Year Mitigation Program formally began in July 1991 with the new fiscal year and was slated to run until June 30, 1996. Following public hearings in May 1996 and District Board review of draft reports through September 1996, the Five-Year Evaluation Report for the 1991-1996 comprehensive program as well as an Implementation Plan for FY 1997 through FY 2001 were finalized in October 1996. In its July 1995 Order WR 95-10, the SWRCB ordered Cal-Am to carry out any aspect of the “Five-Year Mitigation Program for Option V” that the District does not continue after June 1996. To date, as part of the annual budget approval process, the District Board has voted to continue the program. The mitigation program presently accounts for a significant portion of the District budget in terms of revenue (derived primarily from the MPWMD fee on the Cal-Am bill) and expenditures.
For projects or programs that entail significant adverse impacts, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires that an annual report be prepared documenting (1) the actual mitigation activities that were carried out by the lead agency, and (2) the effectiveness of the mitigation activities as measured via a monitoring program. The 2002-2003 Water Allocation Mitigation Report responds to these requirements.
The first three annual reports (1991, 1992, and 1993) covered the calendar year January 1 through December 31. Because this time period conflicted with the District’s budget cycle (July 1-June 30), the fourth annual report covered the 18-month period from January 1994 through June 1995 to bridge the transition from a calendar year to a fiscal year. The fifth (and subsequent) annual reports cover the fiscal year, defined as July 1 through June 30 of the following year. A notable exception is that hydrologic data are always reported in a water year (October 1-September 30) in order to be consistent with the accounting period used by the SWRCB. Since 2002, well production data is also reported in a water year to be consistent with SWRCB reporting requirements.
The 2002-2003 report reviews District activities relating to water supply and demand, followed by mitigation measures for specific environmental impacts. It also provides a summary of costs for the Mitigation Program as well as references. For each topic, the mitigation measure adopted as part of the certified Allocation EIR is briefly described, followed by a summary of activities carried out in FY 2003 that relate to the topic. Monitoring results, where applicable, are then presented. Finally, a summary of observed trends, conclusions, and/or recommendations are provided, where pertinent.
IMPACT ON STAFF/RESOURCES: Distribution of the Mitigation Program Annual Report involves the District staff time and cost for copying and mailing of about 40 reports to agency staff, members of the Carmel River Advisory Committee, and local libraries. It is notable that program implementation entails a significant portion of the District budget. In FY 2003, total expenses for the July 2002-June 2003 period were about $1.67 million, including direct personnel expenses of $967,642, operating costs totaling $189,440, project expenses in the amount of $380,811, and $134,804 in capital equipment and fixed asset purchases. Eight full-time positions (plus seasonal aides) are devoted primarily to implementation of the Mitigation Program.