Meeting Date:

June 21, 2004





David A. Berger,




General Manager

Line Item No.:



Prepared By:


Henrietta Stern

Cost Estimate:


General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


This is a quarterly report on District water supply augmentation projects for the July through September 2004 period.  The next quarterly report will be written in January 2005.  Limited background information is provided herein.  An historical overview of previous action may be found in year 2003 reports.  Staff plans to expand the “Background” information as a separate reference document to be prepared annually.  Information is also available as part of the weekly General Manager’s letter to the Board, which can be found on the District website at


Currently, the priority water augmentation efforts are:


Ø      Evaluate long-term water supply options with emphasis on desalination;


Ø      Proceed with Seaside Basin aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) test project (also known as “injection/recovery”);


Ø      Prepare Seaside Basin Groundwater Management Plan.


Evaluate Long-Term Water Supply Options

In Spring 2003, the District Board directed staff and consultants to prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that evaluates an 8,400 acre-foot per year (AFY) desalination project in Sand City at the project level of detail.  Four other alternatives were also evaluated at a lesser level of detail.  An interim “Board Review Draft” EIR was prepared for receipt at the December 15, 2003 Board meeting.   The Board voted to not complete a formal Draft EIR pending the evaluation of new geotechnical and geophysical field data in early 2004, which could affect the estimate of maximum potable water yield at the Sand City desalination site. 


The geotechnical (test wells) and geophysical (sonic) results in February 2004 indicated that the aquifer characteristics were different than previously known; that construction of  offshore HDD” wells (drilled perpendicular to the beach) for seawater intake may not be feasible; and that construction of intakes using “onshore HDD” wells (drilled parallel to the beach) appears to be feasible.  Depending on the method used for seawater intake and brine discharge, practical potable water production yields were estimated to range from 3,900 to 8,400 AFY.


A March 31, 2004 special workshop was held to review the results of the engineering and hydrogeologic studies.  The Board indicated its preference to delay completion of a formal Draft EIR until more information is obtained about two competing Moss Landing desalination concepts pursued by (1) Cal-Am/Monterey County (“Coastal Water Project”), and (2) Pajaro/Sunny Mesa Community Services District (PSMCSD).  


At its regular July 19, 2004 meeting, the District invited representatives from Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) to describe the Regional Urban Recycled Water Project and opportunities for additional use of reclaimed within the Cal-Am service area.  Staff was directed to explore partnership and collaborative opportunities.  At a special workshop on July 29, 2004, presentations were heard by the two Moss Landing desalination proponents: (1) Cal-Am/Monterey County, and (2) PSMCSD.  Also, a series of written questions was posed to the desalination proponents.  In addition, District staff summarized progress on MPWMD’s Sand City desalination and ASR projects.  


The Board directed District staff to work with the various project sponsors to develop a comprehensive comparative matrix to be used to compare and contrast five water supply projects for a variety of criteria, including technical and regulatory issues, cost, yield, site control, partnership opportunities and many others.  The matrix was discussed in detail at the September 29, 2004 Strategic Planning Workshop; no formal action was taken at that time.   Extensive materials, including the matrix and comparative discussion, may be found on the District website (click on Board Meetings, September 29, 2004, Item 7).


The five projects summarized in the matrix include:


Ø      Coastal Water Project (CWP); Cal-Am sponsor

Ø      North Monterey County Desalination Project (NMCDP); PSMCSD sponsor

Ø      Water Supply Project/Desalination at Sand City (WSP); MPWMD sponsor

Ø      Aquifer Storage and Recovery in Seaside Basin (ASR); MPWMD sponsor

Ø      Regional Urban Recycled Water Project (RURWP); MRWPCA sponsor


Related activities by District staff and consultants in July through September 2004 included:


Ø      Briefed the new General Manager, David Berger, on water augmentation history, current activities, and future opportunities. 


Ø      Attended several town meetings hosted by Cal-Am on its proposed Coastal Water Project, and also met with Cal-Am staff and consultants as well as Monterey County representatives to learn more about the CWP.


Ø      Attended Monterey County Board of Supervisors meetings related to potential partnership agreements with Cal-Am regarding the CWP.  At this time, no formal agreement has been signed. 


Ø      At Cal-Am's request, provided review comments on a 2-volume Draft Preliminary Project Description (August 2004) that Cal-Am submitted to the CPUC as part of the application for the Coastal Water Project. 

Ø      Met and coordinated with PSMCSD staff, consultants, and counsel as well as its private-sector partner to learn more about the NMCDP proposal.


Ø      Met and coordinated with MRWPCA staff regarding reclaimed water opportunities and the RURWP proposal. 


Ø      Attended multi-agency General Managers' meeting on potential grant funding for water supply projects hosted by Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA).


Ø      At the direction of the Board Chair, District Counsel worked with PSMCSD to develop an initial partnership agreement for Board consideration on August 16, 2004.  The Board voted to delay consideration of any agreement until after the matrix is completed.


Ø      Provided a technical presentation on local desalination concepts for Assemblymember John Laird on August 13, 2004.  Mr. Laird also visited Cal-Am to learn more about the Coastal Water Project that same day.


ASR Testing and Related Water Rights

ASR entails diverting excess winter flows from the Carmel River through existing Cal-Am facilities and injecting the water into the Seaside Groundwater Basin Coastal Subareas for later recovery.  Since 1996, the District has evaluated the feasibility of ASR at greater levels of detail, including obtaining water rights to divert Carmel River water and inject it into the Seaside Basin.  Since 1998, the District has injected 1,100 acre-feet of excess winter flow from the Carmel River into the Seaside Basin. Last year, 440 acre-feet were recovered and delivered to the community via the Cal-Am system as part of the test program.  Wells similar to the District’s test well are proposed to be a part of the Cal-Am Coastal Water Project. 


In December 2003, the District received a temporary permit from the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) for continued testing of the MPWMD full-scale injection/recovery Santa Margarita Test Well in the Seaside Basin through May 2004.  Approximately 160 AF were diverted for injection into the Seaside Basin at the District’s full-scale test well site.  Injection quantities were lower in 2004 than in previous years due to a 12-day pump failure in the Cal-Am system in March 2004 as well as below-normal streamflow amounts.  In Spring and early Summer 2004, District staff and consultants continued technical studies focused on recovery of injected water, including water sampling from different points in the Cal-Am system and associated water chemistry analysis.


Since July 12, 2004, the MPWMD Santa Margarita Test Well has provided water to the Cal-Am system for customer use due to failure of a key Cal-Am well (Paralta Well), which has not been repaired to date.  The MPWMD mobilized its Santa Margarita Test Well into full-scale production mode, in cooperation with the California Department of Health Services and Cal-Am. 


The MPWMD Santa Margarita Test Well has temporarily taken the place of the Paralta Well, and provides about 7.3 AF per day.  Since mid-July 2004, the Santa Margarita well has accounted for 25 to 45 percent of Cal-Am’s total production from the coastal portion of the Seaside Basin, and about 15 percent of total Cal-Am production.  In the July 13 through September 30, 2004 period, the Santa Margarita well has produced 520 AF for community use.  Notably, if the Santa Margarita test well were not available as a supply source, Cal-Am would need to operate additional wells in the Carmel Valley.  This would have adversely impacted Carmel River streamflow and related habitat, and increased the risk of exceeding the Carmel River production limit set by the SWRCB.  


Other ASR action in the July-September 2004 period included:


Ø      Prepared year-end report on ASR testing activities in water year 2004 for review by SWRCB and other interested parties.


Ø      Submitted an application to the SWRCB in August 2004 for a temporary urgency permit for ASR testing in water year 2005 while a long-term ASR project EIR is being prepared.  The SWRCB noticed the temporary urgency permit on September 17,  2004; comments are due no later than October 18, 2004.


Ø      Met with SWRCB staff on August 30, 2004 to review year 2004 ASR testing results and discuss the pending near-term and long-term water rights applications.  The SWRCB staff indicated its intent to notice the District’s long-term permit application after noticing and comment on the water year 2005 temporary permit is completed (estimated in mid-November 2004).  The long-term Petition for Change was originally submitted in  October 2001 and revised in September 2003.  The SWRCB requested that the District issue a Notice of Preparation on an EIR for the long-term ASR project no later than December 31, 2004. 


Seaside Basin Groundwater Management Plan 

Based on Board direction in 2003, staff began work on a long-term Seaside Basin Groundwater Management Plan.   The Board indicated that the Plan elements should include: consolidate known information, confirm existing estimates of reliable yield, consider yield estimates for smaller subunits of the basin, assess condition of the basin (or sub-basins), develop best management schemes, and assess potential for basin recharge.   District staff members are working to develop the Management Plan in compliance with protocols set by the State of California (AB 3030 as amended by SB 1938).   On October 7, 2004, District staff met with an Advisory Committee comprised of major pumpers, agency officials, and stakeholders invited to participate in the process.  In addition, public informational meetings are planned in the future.


Complicating this task is litigation filed by Cal-Am on August 14, 2003.  The suit asserts Cal-Am’s water rights and requests a Court adjudication of the Seaside Basin.  The Cal-Am lawsuit involves 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 basin water rights and resources.


Subsequent to the adjudication filing, the District Board directed staff to advise all interested parties that District efforts on an EIR on the two conceptual ordinances associated with the Management Plan are terminated.  District efforts will focus on technical information useful for basin management regardless of the litigation outcome.   At its March 15, 2004 meeting, the Board adopted a resolution declaring its intent to move forward with the Seaside Basin Groundwater Management Plan, and adopted a statement of public participation in the development of the plan.  Members of agencies and interested parties were notified of the Board’s action.


District staff continue to help Cal-Am develop management strategies to reduce extractions from the coastal basin during the wet season and determine which wells would be best to use as production from Seaside increases in the dry season.  SWRCB Order WR 98-04 requires Cal-Am reductions in pumping from the Seaside Basin when Carmel River flow at the Highway 1 bridge is greater than 40 cubic feet per second (cfs) from November 1 through April 30. 


Notable activities by District staff, counsel and consultants in the July-September 2004 period include:


Ø      Continued to participate in legal processes related to adjudication litigation, such as mediation meetings beginning September 2004.  A trial date is scheduled for September 12, 2005 if a resolution among the parties is not achieved before then.


Ø      Met with retired Judge Roger Randall along with all parties, and responded to MCWRA motion to intervene.


Ø      Prepared associated technical reports summarizing the current understanding of the Seaside Basin water resources.  Review Cal-Am consultant’s assessment report of the basin and met with Cal-Am to discuss comments.  


Ø      Distributed first update to the Groundwater Management Plan Advisory Committee in anticipation of its first meeting in October 2004.


Related Water Augmentation Activities

The following table summarizes related water augmentation efforts in the July-September period:





Continue evaluation of feasibility of sediment removal from San Clemente Reservoir.


Potential removal of sediment from San Clemente Dam continues to be explored by Cal-Am and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).  District staff participates in meetings and provides technical expertise upon request.  Cal-Am lowered the water level of San Clemente Reservoir from elevation 525 feet to 515 feet, pursuant to direction from DWR’s Division of Safety of Dams.


Implement and refine water distribution system (WDS) Rules and Regulations.


District staff developed two ordinance concepts on ways to improve WDS regulations, which was approved by the District Board on August 16, 2004.  Since then, staff and counsel have prepared several drafts of Ordinance No. 118.  This ordinance, along with associated Implementation Guidelines, is scheduled for first reading in November 2004.  Staff will focus on the second more substantive ordinance in Fall 2004.


Thirteen active applications are currently at various stages in the permit process.  Pursuant to Board direction at its June 21, 2004 meeting, staff, counsel and a Board subcommittee (Foy, Markey) have worked with Cañada Woods WDS representatives on a revised permit that updates and integrates the current Cañada Woods/Monterra WDS permits.




Review CEQA documents for Other Projects


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.  District and County staff met and exchanged correspondence regarding the Potrero Subdivision in Carmel Valley.  The District also commented on the Marina Coast Water District’s Urban Water Augmentation Program EIR as well as the City of Sand City’s  Desalination Project EIR, among others.