Meeting Date:

January 27, 2004





David A. Berger,




General Manager

Line Item No.:




Prepared By:


Larry Hampson

Cost Estimate:


General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


Carmel River Watershed Assessment:  Staff completed the Environmental and Biological Assessment of Portions of the Carmel River Watershed and gave presentations on this assessment to the MPWMD Board on October 18, 2004 and at a November 4, 2004 public workshop sponsored by the Carmel River Watershed Conservancy (CRWC) to review assessment reports by the CRWC, California State University at Monterey Bay, and MPWMD.   Information was provided on topics such as riparian vegetation health, California red-legged frogs, benthic macroinvertebrates, and steelhead.


The assessment is available on compact disc for a nominal charge or may be downloaded from the MPWMD web site by going to the home page and then clicking on “Programs” and then “Carmel River Watershed Assessment.”


In addition to completing MPWMD’s portion of the assessment, staff worked with the Technical Advisory Committee to the Carmel River Watershed Council to help develop the Carmel River Watershed Action Plan.  District staff attended a public meeting on December 17, 2004 at Rancho Canada to review the Carmel River Watershed Council's (CRWC) Draft Action Plan for the Carmel River Watershed.  Approximately 30 people were in attendance as Clive Sanders, the CRWC Administrator, presented 56 separate actions throughout the watershed to enhance and protect watershed resources.  Proposed actions were developed from assessments of the watershed by MPWMD, California State University at Monterey Bay, and by CRWC.  The final version of the Action Plan is expected to be completed early in 2005.


Emergency Streambank Repairs at the Lower Carmel River Restoration Project:  High river flows in late December 2004 and early January 2005 accelerated erosion of the north streambank along a portion of Carmel River between Rancho San Carlos Road and Via Mallorca.  The erosion occurred in an area previously identified in 1999 by the District as needing restoration work; however, due to funding and permitting constraints, MPWMD has been unable to move forward with a comprehensive river restoration project to address the degradation and instability present in the reach.


Between January 6, 2005 and January 9, 2005, the condition of the most critical streambank area in this reach deteriorated rapidly as a result of heavy rains and high flows and emergency action became necessary to stabilize the bank.  MPWMD General Manager David Berger authorized up to $20,000 in emergency work and District Engineer Andrew M. Bell declared an emergency status for the Carmel River.


It was determined that installation of rock rip-rap would be the most effective method for stabilizing the bank for the winter.  On January 10, 2005, Carmel Valley Construction, MPWMD's contractor for this work, began hauling and placing rock on the streambank in an effort to halt the bank erosion and prevent further damage to the river and surrounding properties.  As of January 12, 2005, emergency work appeared to have stabilized the bank. District staff will continue to monitor this situation closely throughout the winter and coming spring.


San Clemente Dam Seismic Retrofit Project: District staff attended a scoping meeting held on December 16, 2004 at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) offices in San Francisco for the combined Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this project.  Agencies represented at the meeting included the California American Water Company, which has officially changed its acronym to CAW, the Corps, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the Division of Safety of Dams, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and two consultants retained by CAW for this project, Entrix Inc. and MWH.  Entrix is coordinating the preparation of the EIR/EIS and MWH is performing engineering feasibility and economic analyses.  This group (sans MPWMD) is the Project Management Team.


At the meeting, the group decided to include five alternatives in the EIR/EIS: 1) dam strengthening (thickening), 2) partial dam removal (notching), 3) full dam removal, 4) full dam removal with rerouting the main stem through the San Clemente Creek arm of the reservoir, and 5) No Project.  Descriptions of each alternative and preliminary cost estimates are to be completed by mid-March 2005.  Significant issues to be reviewed in the EIR/EIS include sediment disposal, traffic impacts, fish passage for steelhead, and impacts to California red-legged frogs.  CAW's preferred project is to strengthen the dam.   The Corps anticipates that a decision on the project will be made by mid-2006.


MPWMD staff will consider requesting that DWR, the lead agency at the State level, add MPWMD to the Project Management Team.  MPWMD can provide information to the group about the Carmel River and potential impacts of each alternative and also become better informed about this project.


Carmel River Advisory Committee (CRAC) Meeting: On December 16, 2004, District staff met with the Carmel River Advisory Committee. Tom Moss, with the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, reported on the Carmel River Flood Elevation Study that is currently underway.