Meeting Date:

November 19, 2007





David A. Berger,

General Manager


Promote Best Management Practices



Line Item No.:††††





Prepared By:

Stephanie Pintar

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:N/A

Committee Recommendation:The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on November 8, 2007 and recommended approval.

CEQA Compliance:Exempt.Categorical Exemption Section 15306, Information Collection.


SUMMARY: District staff is requesting authorization to sponsor a CIMIS station (California Irrigation Management Information System) for the Monterey Peninsula.A CIMIS station collects and uploads weather data and evapotranspiration (ET) rates to the Department of Water Resources CIMIS database.This information is then used by local Smart Irrigation System Controllers to adjust the irrigation schedule for the reported weather conditions.To sponsor a CIMIS station, the District must purchase and install the equipment and enter into an agreement between the State Department of Water Resources and the landowner where the equipment is installed.The cost of a CIMIS station is approximately $5,600 (including tax).Additional costs include installation of a telephone line to the CIMIS site.


A local CIMIS station would improve the efficiency of Smart Irrigation System Controllers installed on public and private open spaces and other properties on the Monterey Peninsula.Smart Irrigation System Controller vendors program their systems to access and use the local ET information from the DWR CIMIS website.Local CIMIS data would result in water savings on the Peninsula by providing local weather and ET data, rather than relying on data from other stations located beyond the Monterey Peninsula, the closest of which is Watsonville.Local weather and ET data is an important component to achieving maximum water savings from a Smart Irrigation System Controller.The Board recently added Smart Irrigation System Controllers to the joint MPWMD/California American rebate program, and they are being promoted as an effective way to reduce outdoor water use.


Once the District has secured a CIMIS station, staff will determine the best location for installation of the weather station.CIMIS stations ideally should be located in turfed, open space areas to accurately measure ET rates.Although this may result in the station being installed on privately-owned property, the owner will receive no compensation for use of the site and will not have any preferred access to the data collected by the CIMIS station.All users of Smart

Irrigation System Controllers will benefit equally from availability of the station.In identifying potential sites, staff will seek a site that is the most suitable, District-wide, to effectively measure local ET.Given the Monterey Peninsulaís numerous micro-climates, acquiring and installing additional CIMIS stations in the future would further enhance the effectiveness of Smart Irrigation System Controllers in reducing overall irrigation water demand.†††


RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends that the Board approve the Districtís acquisition and installation of a CIMIS station for a not-to-exceed amount of $8,000. Additionally, staff recommends that the Board authorize the General Manager to enter into the required Permit agreement between the Department of Water Resources, the District, and a cooperating landowner within the District boundary (sample Permit agreement from another region, attached as Exhibit 5-A).


BACKGROUND:CIMIS weather stations collect weather data on a minute-by-minute basis, calculate hourly and daily values and store them in the data loggers. A computer at the DWR headquarters in Sacramento calls every station in California starting at midnight Pacific Standard Time (PST) and retrieves each day's data.Once the data is transmitted, the central computer analyzes it for quality, calculates reference evapotranspiration and stores them in the CIMIS database. Evapotranspiration (ET) is a loss of water to the atmosphere by the combined processes of evaporation from soil and plant surfaces and transpiration from plants.


Some of the users/uses of the CIMIS data include:

  • Urban landscape planning and managing
  • Hydrological modeling for water availability and groundwater recharge
  • Homeowner associations for water conservation
  • Local and state water planners and managers
  • High schools and colleges for educational purposes
  • Federal Agencies for resource management and studies
  • Users from other countries for planning and development of similar networks
  • Automated Severe Weather Warning Systems
  • Air quality monitoring assistance

Additional information can be found on the DWR CIMIS website at


IMPACT TO STAFF/RESOURCES:Acquisition of the CIMIS station is part of the Best Management Practice line item 4-2-1, ET Controller Promotion and Rebates that is included in the Districtís FY 2007-08 adopted expenditure budget. Revenue to cover this line item is in the adopted budget as a California American Water (CAW) reimbursement, funding for which is available from the MPWMD conservation surcharge in the CAW general rate case approved last year as Special Request No. 7.District staff will determine and secure property owner consent to use an appropriate site to install the CIMIS station once the equipment is purchased.District staff will be trained to maintain the station or the District may contract for regular maintenance. CIMIS maintenance training is provided free of charge by the Department of Water Resources.



5-A††††† Sample Permit††††††††††††† †††††††††††