Meeting Date:

March 20, 2006





David A. Berger,


Aquatic Resources and Hydrologic Monitoring


General Manager

Line Item No.:

2.4-7 and 2.6-3B


Prepared By:

David Dettman

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  Notice of Exemption, CEQA, Article 19, Section 15301 (Class 1)

ESA Compliance:  Consistent with the September 2001 Conservation Agreement between the National Marine Fisheries Service and California American Water to minimize take of listed steelhead in the Carmel River

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


SUMMARY:  The Board will accept public comment and take action on the April through June 2006 Water Supply Strategy and Budget for the California American Water (Cal-Am) Water Distribution System (WDS).  The proposed budget, Exhibit 10-A, is relatively conservative and assumes normal inflow conditions for the April though June period.  Specifically, the budget utilizes inflows that are expected to be equaled 50% of the time at San Clemente Dam.  The proposed strategy and budget is designed to maximize the long-term production potential and protect the environmental quality of the Carmel River and Seaside Groundwater Basins.


Exhibit 10-A shows the anticipated production by Cal-Am for each of its production sources.  Exhibit 10-A also shows actual production values for the water year to date.  Please note that the anticipated production values shown assume that Cal-Am will production a maximum of 14,785 acre-feet (AF) in Water Year 2006.  Of this maximum, no more than 11,285 AF will be produced from sources in the Carmel River Basin and no more than 3,500 AF will be produced from sources in the coastal subareas of the Seaside Basin.  This assumed annual production maximum is 500 AF less than the maximum used in previous water supply budgets and reflects the production “allocation” specified for Cal-Am in the recent Seaside Basin adjudication outcome.  Specifically, in the Tentative Decision that was filed on January 12, 2006, it is District staff’s understanding that Cal-Am was allocated 3,504 AF of the annual “operating yield” of 4,611 AF that was determined for the coastal subareas of the Seaside Basin.  It should be noted that the Tentative Decision includes several mechanisms that would allow Cal-Am to produce more than 3,504 AF in a year from the coastal subareas including (1) acquiring the production rights from other pumpers in the basin, (2) paying a replenishment assessment to the Watermaster for any production over its allocation, (3) utilizing “carryover credits”, or (4) utilizing “stored water credits”.  At the March 7, 2006 quarterly water supply budget meeting, Cal-Am’s Operations Manager indicated that Cal-Am would, if necessary, use these mechanisms to acquire additional production rights to meet customer demand in Water Year 2006.  In this regard, the production targets set by the Quarterly Water Supply Budget process for Water Year 2006 are considered conditional and may need to be adjusted to reflect actual customer demand.  The production from the Carmel River Basin is consistent with SWRCB Order Nos. 95-10, 98-04 and 2002-0002. 


For the first five months of Water Year 2006 (October 2005 – February 2006), Cal-Am’s production from the Carmel River was less than the SWRCB-based production target by 32 AF or 1%.  This does not include the injection of 128 AF of water from the Carmel River Basin into the Seaside Groundwater Basin as a result of the District’s Test Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Project in the Seaside area of former Fort Ord. The continuation of Cal-Am conservation rates and resumption of wet weather conditions have reduced community water use and helped the community to comply with the annual SWRCB production limit.


RECOMMENDATION:  The Board should receive public input, close the Public Hearing, and discuss the proposed water supply budget.  District staff recommends adoption of the proposed budget.  The budget is described in greater detail in Exhibit 10-B, Quarterly Water Supply Strategy Report: April – June 2006.


BACKGROUND: The Quarterly Water Supply Strategy and Budget pertains to production within the Cal-Am WDS for the three-month period of April, May, and June 2006.  This strategy was developed cooperatively with staff from the District, Cal-Am, and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries).  Based on the above normal meteorological and hydrologic conditions in the upper watershed for the year to date, it was decided to assume that inflow conditions during Spring 2006 would equal median or normal levels.


Based on the fact that San Clemente and Los Padres Reservoirs were full and spilling and that streamflow in the Carmel River at the Don Juan Bridge gaging station exceeded 500 cubic feet per second (cfs) on March 1, 2006, it was agreed that for the remainder of March and in April 2006, Cal-Am's diversions from the upper Carmel Valley would be up to 4.0 (cfs), including combined production from the Russell Wells Nos. 2 and 4 and other sources upstream of and including Scarlett Well No. 8.  In May 2006, the proposed budget allows Cal-Am to divert up to 2.1 cfs from its combined sources upstream of and including Scarlett Well No. 8.  During June 2006, the proposed budget allows Cal-Am a net diversion of no more than 0.96 cfs or 57 AF from the Russell Wells Nos. 2 and 4. This operation will facilitate production at minimal levels in recognition of Cal-Am’s Interim Drawdown Project at San Clemente Dam and the 2001 Conservation Agreement with NOAA Fisheries, and commencement of the “low flow” season in mid-June 2006.  The operation of Cal-Am wells in the upper Carmel Valley is based on the assumption that daily inflows will average approximately 98 cfs during April, 44 cfs during May, and 17 cfs during June 2006.  If actual inflows are more or less than projected for the budget period, the group will reconvene and adjust the diversion and release rates accordingly.  These adjustments will take into account flows needed for steelhead emigration and egg incubation.


In May and continuing through June 2006, Cal-Am will gradually shift its production from the Carmel River Basin to wells in the Seaside Basin, associated with anticipated declining rainfall and runoff in the Carmel River Basin. Accordingly, more of the water needed to serve Cal-Am customers will be produced from the Seaside Basin as the dry season progresses.  For the remainder of March and April 2006, there should be sufficient flow in the Carmel River to allow diversions to be made for the Seaside Test ASR Project.


Rule 101, Section B of the District Rules and Regulations requires that a Public Hearing be held at the time of determination of the District water supply management strategy.  Notice of this Public Hearing has been published in The Herald.  Adoption of the quarterly water supply strategy and budget is categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements as per Article 19, Section 15301 (Class 1).  A Notice of Exemption will be filed with the Monterey County Clerk's office, pending Board Action on this item.



10-A    Cal-Am Water Distribution System: Quarterly Water Supply Strategy and Budget April-June 2006

10-B    Quarterly Water Supply Strategy Report: April - June 2006