Meeting Date:

April 18, 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 January through March 2005 period.  The next quarterly report will be written in July 2005.  Limited background information is provided herein.  An historical overview of previous action may be found in year 2003 and 2004 reports.  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


Based on a Strategic Planning Session held in September 2004, the current priority water augmentation efforts include:


Ř      Proceed with MPWMD aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) test project in Seaside Basin;

Ř      Prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on a long-term District ASR project to be completed in phases; 

Ř      Collaborate and cooperate with other agencies on development of a long-term regional water supply solution, with emphasis on desalination;

Ř      Prepare Seaside Basin Groundwater Management Plan.


At the September 2004 meeting, the District Board reviewed several proposed water augmentation projects in a detailed comparative matrix.  The Board confirmed that it would not proceed on further analysis of a local MPWMD-owned desalination project in the Sand City area, and instead focus its efforts on collaboration with other agencies on a regional water supply project.


Conduct ASR Testing and Obtain Water Rights

ASR entails diverting excess winter flows from the Carmel River through existing California American Water (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 temporary water rights to divert Carmel River water and inject it into the Seaside Basin.  From 1998 through March 2005, the District has injected approximately 1,450 acre-feet (AF) of excess winter flow from the Carmel River into the Seaside Basin.  More than 1,100 AF has been recovered and delivered to the community via the Cal-Am system as part of the test program. 


In November 2004, the District received a temporary permit from the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) for continued testing of the MPWMD Santa Margarita Test Well in the Seaside Basin through May 14, 2005, pending adequate flows in the Carmel River.  A diversion limit of 350 AF was set for 2005.  Injection testing began on January 4, 2005 and ended in early April 2005, when the 350 AF limit was reached.  Testing efforts will now concentrate on water quality effects of the injected water on the local groundwater.


Other ASR action in the January-March 2005 period included:


Ř      Coordinated with SWRCB staff regarding the District’s permit application for a long-term ASR project. The long-term Petition for Change was originally submitted in October 2001 and revised in September 2003.  The SWRCB plans to notice the District’s long-term application on April 8, 2005.


Ř      Coordinated with Cal-Am, City of Seaside and U.S. Army staff regarding permits to construct a temporary, above-ground pipe along General Jim Moore Boulevard to facilitate needed Cal-Am delivery system reliability in Summer 2005.   


Ř      Met several times with Cal-Am on a Memorandum of Agreement regarding ASR testing, mutual aid, cost-sharing, water rights and other issues. 


Prepare EIR to Evaluate MPWMD ASR Project

In September 2004, the Board directed staff to initiate preparation of an EIR on the District’s ASR project.  Contract amendments with Jones & Stokes Associates (JSA) and Padres Associates were approved in October 2004.  A Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an EIR was issued on December 13, 2004.  Public hearings to receive oral comments on the NOP were held on January 12, 2005.  The deadline for written comments was January 18, 2005.  A total of __ written and __ oral comments were received.  At its February 24, 2005 meeting, the Board received a formal Scoping Report summarizing the NOP comments.   At its March 21, 2005 meeting, the Board provided direction to staff on the ASR project description and revised scope of work for the EIR, in light of the NOP comments and several coordination meetings with local agencies and Cal-Am.  Please see the Board packet materials for February 24 and March 21, 2005 for detailed information.  This information is also on the District website:


The EIR originally envisioned in three phases, with emphasis on a smaller Phase 1 project to be implemented within one year of project approval.  Based on the NOP comments and subsequent discussions, the EIR will exclusively focus on Phase 1.  A future EIR will address Phases 2 and 3, once more information is known about regional land use plans and infrastructure, such as major road realignments.  The Phase 1 project is focused on better management of existing water resources to help reduce current impacts to the Carmel River and Seaside Basins.  The District ASR project is viewed as being complementary to other larger, long-term water augmentation projects that are currently being explored by various entities.  The Phase 1 ASR concept envisions a maximum diversion of 2,022 AFY from the Carmel River in wet years and a maximum extraction from the Seaside Basin of 1,690 AFY in dry periods.  Average values would be lower and depend on long-term weather conditions.  The Phase 1 values were based on 2004 or previous information, and are subject to change in the EIR based on recent technical studies and planned computer modeling. 


At the recommendation of the U.S. Army, Environmental Management Division, District staff and consultants met or consulted via phone with representatives from the U.S. Army, City of Seaside, City of Del Rey Oaks, Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) and Cal-Am in February and March 2005 to: (1) clarify infrastructure plans to avoid conflicts, with emphasis on pipeline alignments and well locations; (2) better understand the federal and local permitting process for the Phase 1 ASR project; (3) discuss the technical details of MPWMD and Cal-Am ASR concepts; and (4) exchange technical information and identify ways to avoid duplication.  A positive outcome of these communications is new information provided by FORA in late March 2005 about the planned re-alignment of General Jim Moore Boulevard (GJM).  Revised plans dated November 2004 show that the new GJM does not impact the District’s ASR well as the previous July 2004 version transmitted to MPWMD had shown. 


The following Board direction was provided to staff at the March 21, 2005 meeting:


Ř      The District’s EIR should be amended to focus only on Phase 1 ASR (one additional well at existing test site within the next 1-2 years) and not discuss potential future Phases 2 and 3 at this time.

Ř      Consultant contracts should be amended to include NEPA compliance concurrent with the CEQA document. 

Ř      The ASR project purpose should remain focused on near-term goals (Phase 1). 

Ř      The ASR project description should not be driven by Cal-Am’s Coastal Water Project (CWP), but should be compatible with the CWP, as possible. 

Ř      The EIR should not include detailed technical studies that are beyond the scope of an EIR; these will be performed as part of the subsequent state permit process. 

Ř      The District should assertively protect its existing ASR well site and ability to successfully construct Phase 1. 


A relevant topic is the fate of the proposed above-ground, near-term Cal-Am pipeline to the District's Santa Margarita test well site to ensure a secure water supply in Summer 2005.  It is envisioned that Phase 1 ASR project would also receive water from the same above-ground pipeline, not a permanent below-ground pipeline as described in the NOP, due to the uncertainty of where GJM will be located in the future. Once information is available about the final location of the new GJM road alignments, the fate of the CWP, and approval of specific land use proposals, a meaningful plan for Phase 2 and 3 ASR, including permanent below-ground pipelines, can be formulated.  


Collaborate on Regional Water Supply Solutions


District staff continues to regularly coordinate with Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA) and Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) on regional water supply solution opportunities. The District General Manager participates in regular meetings of water district and city technical staff regarding regional solutions to water problems.  The District staff participates on AMBAG’s planning team for a May 19, 2005 Regional Water Forum. 


At its March 21, 2005 meeting, the Board invited speakers from the following entities to provide a progress report on potential water projects that could help meet regional water needs.  They included:


Ř      Pajaro/Sunny Mesa Community Services District on a proposed desalination project in Moss Landing;

Ř      Monterey County Water Resources Agency on a regional urban water supply project, with emphasis on project size (demand), governance concepts and financing;

Ř      Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency on a groundwater recharge project using highly purified, treated wastewater as the recharge source;

Ř      California American Water on its proposed Coastal Water Project.


At the same meeting, District staff provided an update on the ASR test program and the proposed Phase 1 ASR project.


Prepare Seaside Basin Groundwater Management Plan 

Staff and consultants are preparing a long-term Seaside Basin Groundwater Management Plan (SBGMP) 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 groundwater pumpers, agency officials, and stakeholders invited to participate in the process.  In December 2004, the Board approved a formal public outreach program that commenced in 2005.


In the January-March 2005 period, staff provided an update to members of the SBGMP Advisory Committee.  District consultants are nearing completion of an independent third-party technical review of the known information about the Seaside Groundwater Basin, with emphasis on the sustainable yield.  This report will be reviewed by the MPWMD Board at its April 18, 2005 meeting, and considered for public release.


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.  The District is a recognized interested party in the litigation, and has continued to participate in settlement meetings, mediation and other litigation activities during the January-March 2005 period.


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. 


Related Water Augmentation Activities

The following table summarizes related water augmentation efforts in the January-March 2005 period:





Seismic Retrofit and Sediment Removal from San Clemente Reservoir.


District staff participates in the EIR/EIS process on the seismic retrofit of San Clemente Dam. 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 maintains the water level of San Clemente Reservoir at 515 feet (10 feet below spillway elevation of 525 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 were approved by the District Board on August 16, 2004.  The Board adopted Ordinance No. 118 refining procedures, fees and enforcement on December 13, 2004.  Staff developed draft Technical Guidelines for consultants evaluating the impacts of water wells and continue to refine application materials.  In March 2005, staff developed Conceptual Ordinance No. 123 for review by the Rules & Regulation Committee on April 5, 2005.  Ordinance No. 123 will first come before the Board in May 2005 after a second Committee review.

Several applications were approved either by the Board or staff Hearing Officer in January-March 2005, and several more applications are currently at various stages in the permit process. 


Review CEQA Documents for Other Projects


The District logs incoming CEQA notices and comments on selected 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.  Proposals of community interest included the Draft EIR for September Ranch and the General Jim Moore Boulevard Realignment in former Fort Ord.





REVISED April 7, 2005 by HS