Water Needs Analysis:  FUTURE WATER NEEDS


Meeting Date:

May 18, 2006





David A. Berger,




General Manager

Line Item No.:


Prepared By:

Stephanie Pintar

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY:  At its September 8, 2005 Strategic Planning Session, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (District) Board indicated its intent to hold a series of workshops on key topics of Board and community interest. This workshop, the fourth in a series of five, focuses on the long-term (future) water needs of customers in the California American Water (Cal-Am) main distribution system in the Monterey Peninsula area.  In the workshop, information on future Cal-Am water needs will be presented. 


At the third workshop on March 23, 2006, staff presented information on existing Cal-Am water demand, with an emphasis on Water Year 2005.  That information was compared to existing Cal-Am water supplies, emphasizing Water Year 2005. Based on this comparison and a discussion of the legal constraints on the physical supplies, estimates of the amount of replacement water that is required to reliably meet Cal-Am’s existing water demand were provided.


DISCUSSION:  On September 20, 2004, the District Board approved the Technical Advisory Committee’s (TAC) recommendation to use General Plan build-out numbers to project future water needs.  Since that time, the TAC members have provided the District with their build-out numbers.  Once the build-out numbers were received (Exhibit 1-A), the TAC met regularly to develop water use factors for the various types of uses anticipated at build-out.  After reaching consensus on water use factors (Exhibit 1-B), District staff compiled the attached future water needs estimates (Exhibit 1-C) using (1) the recommended factors, (2) a “contingency” of 20 percent to cover unanticipated water needs or upgrades from current restrictions, and (3) water needs associated with “paying back” residential retrofit credits allowed by MPWMD Ordinances No. 70 and No. 90.  (Ordinances 70 and 90 allowed a jurisdiction to “borrow” against the next water allocation.)  The County’s residential water needs include the TAC-recommended adjusted residential factor that takes into account the County’s larger lot sizes.  The result of the effort is an estimated long-term water need of 4,545 acre-feet to satisfy the build-out projections of the jurisdictions.


The Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) met jointly with the TAC on September 26, 2005 and unanimously endorsed the TAC’s recommendation.  At that meeting, Director Edwards raised the question about phasing the water needs over time.  Early in the process, staff had requested water needs based on the current housing element of each jurisdiction’s General Plan.  However, as the housing elements expire in 2007, information available at this time will be outdated before a water supply project is on line.  Therefore, staff recommends discussing water supply phasing in 2007 when the next editions of the housing elements are completed.


The Water Demand Committee considered endorsing the TAC’s recommendation at its December 8, 2005 meeting.  After a brief discussion, Chair Foy announced that the consensus of the committee was to receive the report and refer it for discussion by the Board at the May 18, 2006 Workshop on Water Needs Analysis, Future Demand at Buildout.  He specified that the Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) should be invited to make a presentation at the May 18, 2006 meeting.  In addition, the Policy Advisory Committee members and TAC members should be invited to attend the meeting and speak to the issue during the public comment period.  Although the Chair of the TAC is unavailable for the workshop, the TAC representative from the City of Carmel will be available as the Chair’s alternate.  In addition, all TAC and PAC members have been invited to attend the workshop.


RECOMMENDATION:  The Board should receive the staff presentation, receive public comment, and review and discuss the materials provided for the workshop.  No Board action will be made as part of this workshop. 


BACKGROUND:  On February 2, 2004, the Board held a workshop to consider long-term water needs.  At that meeting, staff was directed to place a Consent Calendar item on the February 19, 2004 Board meeting agenda to request that the Technical Advisory Committee provide a recommendation on a methodology for projecting future water needs.  At the February 19, 2004 Board meeting, the recommendation was approved, and the TAC was given 90 days (until the May 27, 2004 Board meeting) to submit its recommendation.  As part of the background provided to the TAC, the following alternatives were suggested for consideration:


  1. Historical average actual use by type of use based on Cal-Am consumption reports;

  2. Use reasonable estimates based on “average” land use densities;

  3. Use maximum potential density;

  4. Limit future demand estimates to existing legal lots of records as of January 1, 1997 (the date used in the previous legal lot studies);

  5. Estimate future needs based on potential development as allowed by the current General Plans;

  6. Other alternative methods.


On March 15, 2004 as part of its discussion on near-term water supply projects, the Board again requested the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) to make recommendations to the Board on the formula to use to determine each jurisdiction’s share of any new allocation.  The Board also asked if there should be an MPWMD Community Reserve, and if the Federal Government should be added as a new jurisdiction.  The latter questions remain unanswered.


The TAC began reviewing alternatives for projecting long-term water needs at its April 6, 2004 meeting.  The consensus was to use each jurisdiction’s general plan as the basis for establishing water needs, with the District applying its factors to the general plan totals to calculate the water requirements.   Contemplation of actual needs versus build-out needs was also discussed, including an oral presentation by the City of Monterey staff representative on its recommendation to combine a trend analysis with the general plan build-out projections to estimate the long-term water needs.


On May 4, 2004, the TAC continued its discussion on a common methodology.  At this meeting, the TAC heard a proposal from Michael Waxer, a member of the public who had contacted several TAC members.  Mr. Waxer’s proposal suggested viewing long-term water needs from the “bottom up” versus the normal “top down.” Using the proposed Moss Landing desalination plant as the example, Mr. Waxer’s process would move away from “allocation” thinking and would develop a methodology that would be looked at like a utility, with CEQA impacts being reviewed in the General Plans of the Jurisdictions. Mr. Waxer proposed that a Project EIR and a Program EIR could be completed with this concept in mind.  Jurisdictions would determine land use needs and the District would provide the water needed to reasonably accommodate the land uses. The Project EIR would reference the total water needed for the long term, based on build-out, and the Program EIR would address an incremental process that would eventually get to build out. Two-year planning windows were suggested, with the actual production being adjusted to correspond to actual need. 


The TAC members agreed that any project should be submitted for environmental review only once. Members questioned the ability to determine what the long-term demand would be and how to present it to policy makers.  The TAC agreed that the PAC should be consulted to provide policy direction on establishing the method for determining potential long-term needs. 


A joint TAC/PAC meeting was held on June 1, 2004 to discuss the development of a common methodology to estimate future water needs.  The PAC was asked to respond to the following questions:


1.                  Does the PAC agree that the General Plan Build-Out should be the basis for long-term water needs projections?

2.                  Should this number be adjusted with a trend analysis of past permits issued?

3.                  Do the PAC and TAC want to establish a set of assumptions that will be applied to every jurisdiction’s water needs estimates (i.e. should we use only 30 percent of underdeveloped lots versus 100 percent at build-out)?

4.                  Should the TAC provide intervals (of 2-3 years) of water toward the projected build-out?


Consensus among the PAC members was that the methodology should be based on general plan build-out projections and the District’s water use factors.  The PAC members agreed to submit this recommendation to their governing bodies for consideration and then to provide direction to the TAC members. 


The following summarized remarks were made by respective jurisdictions representatives in response to the questions shown above: 


  • Pacific Grove – Supports #1 and #4.  Do not support #2 or #3. 

  • Del Rey Oaks – Supports #1 and #4.  Do not support #2 or #3.  Must take this issue to city counsel. 

  • Seaside – Supports #1 and #4.  Do not support #2 or #3. 

  • MPAD – Supports #1 and #4. MPAD provided those numbers to the District previously.

  • Carmel-by-the-Sea – It would be helpful if all PAC members present option #1 to their city counsels. 

  • Monterey – Suggested #4 at last meeting.  Chances are that the 20-year build-out growth projections will not occur.  The growth projections are not realistic.  Must take this issue to city counsel.

  • Sand City – What will methodology be based on for jurisdictions like Monterey County if they cannot complete their general plan?  Suggest submit your reasonable calculations to the EIR consultant and the desalination plant will be sized accordingly. Would the District be willing to take the production calculations from each agency and add another 20 to 30 percent just to be safe? 

  • Monterey County – You need to make a decision on the amount of water needed from the desalination project quickly.  The biggest argument against the project will be growth inducement.  If the water needs estimate is based on general plans, then it is based on the needs of the public and not the private sector.


On August 3, 2004, the TAC reconvened with the recommendations from the PAC and their City Councils. Monterey County, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Del Rey Oaks and the MPAD were not represented at the meeting, although Carmel had submitted its position prior to the meeting.  On a motion by Pacific Grove and second by Sand City, the TAC voted to recommend to the Board of Directors that the methodology for estimating future water needs be based on the each jurisdiction’s general plan build-out numbers, and that District staff would apply the District’s water use factors to those general plan numbers.  The City of Monterey continued to raise its concern that if the needs assessment is very high, based on general plan build-out, any water supply project sized to meet that need would be targeted for controversy in the community. 

The motion was adopted on a vote of 4 – 0.


On September 20, 2004, the District’s Board of Directors approved the Technical Advisory Committee’s recommendation on the methodology to determine long-term water needs.  Between September 2004 and January 2005, the TAC compiled the build-out numbers and submitted the information to the District.  Submissions from all jurisdictions were received by February 2005.


Through June 2005, the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met regularly to resolve the water factors to be applied to the General Plan build out information submitted to the District.  Factors for Single-Family Residential, Multi-Family Residential and Second Units were discussed and consensus reached.  Commercial water needs were based on different factors and were submitted by the jurisdictions.  Del Rey Oaks provided a general reference to its future commercial uses; Monterey County, Carmel and Sand City provided square-footage for commercial uses that are not specific to a use category; Monterey listed commercial Group I and II square-footage; the Airport District listed Group I and Group III (self-storage) uses; Pacific Grove listed Group I, Group II and hotel rooms; and Seaside provided a very specific list of commercial uses by type and other factors.  For the water needs estimate, staff used the numbers submitted by the jurisdictions, and the TAC approved with the commercial water use estimates.


A 20 percent contingency was applied to each jurisdiction’s needs.  Not all jurisdictions had 20 percent as their contingency; however the TAC supported the 20 percent contingency.  As the City of Seaside expressed, there is concern that current water conservation practices may relax somewhat when new water supplies become available.  The City wants to be prepared for that potential. 



1-A      Build-Out Numbers from Jurisdictions

1-B      Factors Used to Project Long-Term Water Needs

1-C      Long-Term Water Needs Estimate