ITEM:

CONSENT CALENDAR

 

3.

CONSIDER APPROVAL OF ANNUAL MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT FOR RELEASES AND DIVERSIONS FROM SAN CLEMENTE RESERVOIR

 

Meeting Date:

May 17, 2004

Budgeted:N/A

 

Staff Contacts:

Darby Fuerst/Dave Dettman

Program/Line Item No.:N/A

 

 

Cost Estimate:N/A

 

General Counsel Approval:N/A

Committee Recommendation:N/A

CEQA Compliance:Consistent with SWRCB WR Order Nos. 95-10, 98-04, 2002-0002

ESA Compliance: Consistent with Conservation Agreement between the National Marine Fisheries Service and California American Water

 

SUMMARY: Representatives from the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (District), California American Water (Cal-Am), the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) office in Monterey, and the NOAA Fisheries office in Santa Rosa met on May 3, 2004, to negotiate the terms and conditions for the 2004 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for releases and diversions from San Clemente Reservoir.This was the first meeting to discuss and negotiate the 2004 MOA.Based on current storage conditions and expected reservoir inflows, it was agreed that Cal-Am will maintain minimum flows in the Carmel River at the Sleepy Hollow Weir of 9 cubic feet per second (cfs) in June, 7 cfs in July, and 5 cfs during the period from August through December 2004.Given the below normal streamflow conditions, Los Padres Reservoir is only expected to continue spilling during May and a portion of June.If the reservoir ceases spilling during June, Cal-Am will maintain a minimum flow of 9.0 cfs at the Sleepy Hollow Weir.Cal-Am will cease direct surface diversions from San Clemente Reservoir and most wells upstream of the Narrows, when Carmel River flow at the District=s Don Juan gaging station in Garland Park is less than 20 cfs for five consecutive days.This should occur during early May, based on the projected inflows and Cal-Amís ability to bypass inflow at San Clemente Dam. To compensate for the loss of direct diversion, Cal-Am will supply the portion of their service area in the upper Carmel Valley with combined production from the Russell Well Nos. 2 and 4 at a maximum rate of 0.5 cfs, the pump at the Del Monte pressure/flow regulating station, located near Boronda Road, and surface storage in the Clear Well Tank, located adjacent to the Carmel Valley Filter Plant (CVFP). These actions conform to SWRCB WRO 2002-0002 and the 2001 NMFS Conservation Agreement.The 2004 MOA is included as Exhibit 3-A.

 

IMPACT ON STAFF AND FISCAL RESOURCES: Due to the projected below normal inflows and a reduction in available reservoir storage, staff expects that the lower river will begin drying-up during mid to late May 2004.Management of this situation will require close monitoring of daily reservoir storage, streamflow, water temperature, environmental conditions in the lower river, meteorological conditions, and substantial staff time for monitoring and fish rescues.

 


RECOMMENDATION:†† Staff recommends that the Board approve the 2004 MOA and direct the General Manager to sign the agreement.

BACKGROUND:†† To define minimum instream flow standards for the Carmel River below San Clemente Dam during the low-flow period (i.e., May through December), the District annually enters into an agreement with Cal-Am and CDFG.In general, the MOA specifies the minimum release that must be maintained from San Clemente Reservoir to the Carmel River and the maximum diversion that is allowed from San Clemente Reservoir to Cal-Am's CVFP.

 

Beginning in March 2002, Cal-Am was ordered to change its diversions and pumping schedule from the upper Carmel Valley according to the following conditions:[1]

 

1. Cal-Am shall immediately upon issuance of this order cease withdrawal of water from the San Clemente Dam during low flow periods except during an emergency. AEmergency@ means a system failure such as a pump failure, main breaks or fires, that jeopardizes the public health and safety. Hot weather demand alone shall not per se be an Aemergency,@ but it is recognized that after taking appropriate conservation measures, if levels in the Clear Well fall below nine feet from the bottom of the tank, an emergency may exist and diversions at San Clemente or the utilization of other facilities may be necessary. Nine feet from the bottom of the tank is a minimum requirement established by California Department of Health Services regulations. In all cases, diversions at San Clemente Dam or the utilization of other facilities shall be undertaken in a manner that is least damaging to the fishery resources, and these emergency operations shall be for the shortest practicable time. Cal-Am shall notify and consult with NMFS, FWS, DFG, and the District prior to implementation of emergency operations. If there is no time for consultation, Cal-Am shall notify NMFS, FWS, DFG, and the District of its emergency operation as early as practicable within eight (8) hours after Cal-Am first becomes aware of the emergency. Cal-Am shall notify, by telephone or telefax, the Chief of the Division of Water Rights within 24 hours of the emergency or by noon of the first business day following the incident. For the purpose of this Order, Alow flow periods@ are defined as times when stream flow in the Carmel River at the Don Juan Bridge (RM 10.8) gage is less than 20 cfs for five consecutive days. Pursuant to its continuing authority over the public trust, the SWRCB may amend this order to modify the definition of Alow flow periods@ or to add additional flow requirements to protect steelhead in the Carmel River. The Chief of the Division of Water Rights (Chief) is delegated the authority to modify the definition of Alow flow periods@ and the authority to add flow requirements based on new information, after finding that any proposed change to the order would better protect steelhead in the Carmel River. The Chief is also delegated the authority to modify the flow requirements of this order, in response to any changes in the requirements imposed under the Endangered Species Act, as necessary to prevent this order from being in violation of the Endangered Species Act or unreasonably interfering with efforts to comply with the Endangered Species Act. Prior to making the finding and prior to making any change to the order, the Chief shall provide notice to the parties to this hearing and give them an opportunity to comment on the proposed change.

 

2. Upon the issuance of this order, Cal-Am shall reduce diversions during low flow periods, from Garzas Wells Nos. 3 and 4, Panetta Wells, the Robles Well, the Scarlett 8 Well, and Los Laureles Wells Nos. 5 and 6. Current diversions are 1-7 days per month at each well. Diversions at these wells shall be reduced to a maximum of two eight-hour days per month except that those wells that currently operate only one eight-hour day per month shall continue to operate at not more than one eight-hour day per month. This reduction shall be undertaken in stages to enable Cal-Am to monitor water quality to ensure that this reduction can be maintained. Monitoring to ensure compliance with California Department of Health Services requirements and mechanical reliability shall be completed within 15 days of the adoption of this order. To the maximum degree practicable, Cal-Am shall operate these wells at night. In consultation with NMFS, FWS, DFG and the District, Cal- Am can operate the Scarlett 8 well incrementally to meet maximum daily demand after using all other available sources at maximum capacity.

 

3. Cal-Am shall install, not later than March 31, 2002, a pump that delivers water from the Begonia Zone to the Carmel Valley Village Zone. The ABegonia Zone@ is defined to include water well production facilities in AQ3, AQ4 and the Seaside Groundwater Basin. The ACarmel Valley Village Zone@ is defined to include all Cal-Am users upstream from the Del Monte Regulating Station. The pump size shall have the capacity, in conjunction with the operation of the Clear Well and the 0.5 cfs flow to be pumped from the Russell Wells, to meet the maximum daily demand of the Carmel Valley Village Zone. This shall minimize the emergency conditions described in Paragraph 1 above. The pump shall be sized within the physical constraints of the vault. Cal-Am shall make arrangements, not later than March 31, 2002, with appropriate contractor(s) to provide and have operational within twenty-four hours of the time that it is needed necessary back-up equipment to insure continued operations in the case of an outage associated with the Del Monte booster station facility.

 


4. The Russell Wells shall be limited to a combined total instantaneous diversion rate of not more that 0.5 cfs during low flow periods. These actions at the Russell Wells and the modifications at the Del Monte facility shall be evaluated by Cal-Am in consultation with NMFS, FWS, DFG, and the District during the period of January through December 2002. The evaluation shall address and focus on the adequacy of Cal-Am=s plumbing system and the Del Monte facility to accommodate (pump) the water supply needs of the Carmel Valley Village Zone from the Begonia Zone (except 0.5 cfs from the Russell Wells).

 

5. During the low flow periods, except for 0.5 cfs, all water diverted to Carmel Valley Village Zone shall be water that originates from the Begonia Zone (as defined in Paragraph 3 above).

 

In addition to the five conditions above, Cal-Amís ability to divert surface flow at San Clemente Dam is constrained by implementation of the San Clemente Dam Draw Down Project (SCDDP), which is mandated by the California Department of Water Resourcesí Division of Safety of Dams. A primary facet of the SCDDP is the planned lowering of the water surface elevation in the reservoir to reduce the risk of flooding during a seismic failure of the dam.Under this plan Cal-Am is required to bypass the inflow to the reservoir through the existing outlet works beginning as early as April 15, 2004, or when the flow at the Sleepy Hollow Weir equals 30 cfs, and to keep the water surface elevation at 515 feet through December 2004.During this period, Cal-Am proposes to supply water to the Carmel Valley Village Zone from the Russell Wells and the Begonia Zone.The MOA group discussed the application of the SWRCB Order 2002-0002 and the SCDDP to conditions this year and agreed to specify the diversions from San Clemente Reservoir and the production from Cal-Am=s Upper Valley Wells, accordingly.

 

Based on current reservoir storage and expected inflow conditions for the remainder of Calendar Year 2004, it was agreed by all parties at the May 3, 2004 meeting that Cal-Am would release the following minimum flows from San Clemente Reservoir to the Carmel River (as measured at the Sleepy Hollow Weir) of 9.0 cfs in June, 7.0 cfs in July, and 5.0 cfs during the period from August through December.It was agreed that once San Clemente Reservoir stops spilling as Cal-Am begins to draw down San Clemente Reservoir, total diversions to the CVFP would be limited to a maximum of 0.5 cfs, supplied from the nearby Russell Wells Nos. 2 and 4.†† At that time no diversions can physically occur from San Clemente Reservoir. The projected monthly inflows, spills, releases, diversions and storage values for the May 2004 - December 2004 period are shown on Exhibit 3-B. The parties agreed to meet on June 8, 2004 to negotiate the District=s Quarterly Water Supply Strategy and Budget for the July-September 2004 period and determine whether to modify the diversions and releases, if actual inflow and storage do not meet the expectations.Exhibit 3-B also includes actual values for the January 2004 - April 2004 period, which are shown in bold or italic type.

 


Prior to 1999, the storage in Los Padres Reservoir was managed to limit the drawdown of surface storage and the minimum end-of-month goals during the MOA period ranged from 244 acre-feet (AF) in 1994 to 1,252 AF in 1998.The minimum end-of-month goal for the 2004 MOA period is 463 AF in October (Exhibit 3-B).In 1998, Cal-Am estimated the total storage capacity in Los Padres Reservoir and found that it had declined to 1,569 AF.This represents a loss of 610 AF of surface storage capacity, based on the previous estimate of 2,179 AF in 1984.The loss of surface storage capacity, coupled with expected below normal inflows, means that less water may remain in Los Padres Reservoir at the end of the calendar year. Also of concern is the need to provide cool, well-oxygenated water for the release below Los Padres Dam.Due to the reduction in reservoir storage there is an increased risk of releasing water that is too warm for juvenile steelhead, particularly during the late summer and early fall.As a consequence, staff anticipates there may be a need to periodically modify the MOA terms and conditions throughout the remainder of the calendar year.

 

To maximize the instream flow benefits from the proposed releases, the 2004 MOA also includes a condition that limits the amount of water pumped from Cal-Am's production wells in the Upper Carmel Valley (i.e., above the Narrows).This provision also applies to the former Water West wells that are now owned and operated by Cal-Am.Similarly, the MOA includes a provision that Cal-Am will make all reasonable efforts to operate its Lower Carmel Valley production wells beginning with the most downstream well and moving to upstream wells as needed to meet system demand.This provision is consistent with Condition No. 5 of SWRCB Order 95-10.

 

The proposed MOA may be modified by mutual consent of all the parties and will be monitored weekly by representatives of the three parties.It should be noted that the releases and operations specified in the MOA are consistent with the releases and diversions that were approved in the Quarterly Water Supply Strategy and Budget for Cal-Am for the March-June 2004 period.The agreement becomes effective upon being signed by the three parties and extends through December 31, 2004.

 

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[1]Order WRO 2002-0002 was adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board on March 21, 2002.