Meeting Date:

November 19, 2007





David A. Berger,




General Manager

Line Item No.:


Prepared By:

Larry Hampson

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Review:  Yes

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  Statutory Exemption for Feasibility and Planning Studies ( Guideline § 15262)


SUMMARY:  At its July 16, 2007 meeting, the MPWMD Board of Directors received the “Draft Monterey Peninsula, Carmel Bay and South Monterey Bay Integrated Regional Water Management Plan” (IRWMP or IRWM Plan) and took pubic comment on the plan.  At that meeting, the Board directed staff to identify areas within the planning region that may be affected by the IRWMP and that have not been involved in the planning process, conduct outreach in those areas, and to incorporate public comment into the plan.  The final proposed IRWMP presented with this item incorporates input from stakeholders, the Water Management Group, which was created to guide development of the plan, and other entities and individuals who have participated in developing the plan.  The IRWMP has been provided to members of the Board under separate cover.  Copies of the IRWMP may be viewed at the District office, and an electronic version is available on the web at:


The IRWMP is a comprehensive guide for developing, prioritizing, and implementing coordinated water resource plans and projects.  As such, it is a “living document” that is intended to be amended from time to time to meet the planning Region’s continually-evolving water resource management needs and related project priorities.  The proposed IRWMP contains planning objectives and identifies potential projects that address our Region’s identified needs in the areas of water supply, water quality, flood protection, water-related environmental enhancement, and other state-mandated and optional planning categories.   In order to be eligible for State IRWM grant funds under the California voter-approved Propositions 50, 84, and 1E general obligation bonds, the IRWMP must be adopted by at least two agencies in the planning Region with statutory authority over water resources.  Approval of the IRWMP by the District and/or MRWPCA and MCWRA, will enable our Region to receive a portion of $52 million, which the Prop. 84 bond statute allocates to the Central Coast counties of Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and parts of San Benito and lower Santa Clara counties.    


RECOMMENDATIONS:  Staff recommends that the Board:


1.         Receive the “Monterey Peninsula, Carmel Bay and South Monterey Bay Integrated Regional Water Management Plan” (IRWMP).

2.         Make a finding that the IRWMP is exempt from further environmental review under Section 15262 of the California Environmental Quality Act.

3.         Approve Resolution 2007-__ adopting the IRWMP (attached as Exhibit 15-A).

4.         Direct the General Manager to request that the other four entities that, with MPWMD, are proposed to comprise the IRWMP Water Management Group (Big Sur Land Trust, City of Monterey, Monterey County Water Resources Agency, and Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency) consider formal adoption of the IRWMP.

5.         Authorize the General Manager to make any minor or non-substantive modifications to the IRWMP in order to accommodate requests made by the Water Management Group entities and/or stakeholders prior to formal adoption, or to delete references to entities that may decline to participate in the implementation of the IRWMP.


ADOPTION of the IRWM PLAN:  State IRWM guidelines for Proposition 50 funds require an adopted IRWM Plan as one of the criteria for receiving IRWM project implementation grants.  The Department of Water Resources (DWR), which administers funds in the IRWM program, has indicated that the Proposition 50 guidelines will form the basis of a revised program for administration of Proposition 84 funds.


As required under Proposition 50 guidelines, a Water Management Group is proposed to be formed (see table below) to guide the development and implementation of the IRWMP.  At least two agencies with statutory authority over water resources are required to be in the Water Management Group.  Of the four public agencies in the table below, all have statutory management authority over at least one water resource, e.g., potable water, storm water, or wastewater.  Management staff at each agency in the Water Management Group has agreed to assist with development and implementation of the IRWMP; however, a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) must be finalized and executed and the IRWMP must be adopted by each participating agency according to State IRWM guidelines.  To date, in addition to approval by the MPWMD Board, the MOU has been approved by the Monterey City Council.  Staff at the Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA) will recommend approval of the MOU and have scheduled it for consideration at the November 26, 2007 MCWRA Board of Directors meeting.   The Big Sur Land Trust staff will recommend approval to its Board on December 6, 2007.  The Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency Board will consider approval of the MOU at its November 26, 2007 meeting.


Water Management Group


Big Sur Land Trust


City of Monterey 1


Monterey County Water Resources Agency [1]


Monterey Peninsula Water Management District 1


Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency 1



Adoption of the Plan by MPWMD and other entities within the Water Management Group and stakeholders should allow entities within the planning area to apply for grant funds.  But the IRWMP does not bind the entities and require that the IRWM Plan be implemented (this would occur as individual projects are funded and implemented).   Letters of support for development and/or adoption of the proposed IRWMP have been received from the following stakeholder entities: the Carmel River Watershed Conservancy, City of Carmel-by-the-Sea, City of Monterey, City of Pacific Grove, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency, Big Sur Land Trust, and the Monterey County Water Resources Agency.   In addition, many stakeholder entities were actively involved in the planning process, including development and review of the IRWMP.  Shown below is a table listing stakeholder entities.



California American Water

Monterey Bay Citizen Watershed Monitoring Network

California Coastal Commission

Monterey County Service Area 50

California Coastal Conservancy

Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District

California Department of Fish and Game

NOAA Fisheries

California State University Monterey Bay

Pebble Beach Community Service District

California State Water Resources Control Board

Pebble Beach Company

Carmel Area Wastewater District

Planning and Conservation League

Carmel River Steelhead Association

Regional Water Quality Control Board

Carmel River Watershed Conservancy

Resources Conservation District of Monterey County

Carmel Unified School District

Seaside Basin Watermaster

Carmel Valley Association

State Department of Parks & Recreation

City of Carmel-by-the-Sea

Surfrider Foundation

City of Del Rey Oaks

The Nature Conservancy

City of Pacific Grove

The Watershed Institute at CSUMB

City of Sand City

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

City of Seaside

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serve

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Ventana Wilderness Society


In addition to adoption by each participating agency within the Water Management Group, project sponsors will be required to adopt the IRWMP in order to apply for and qualify for funds under the IRWM grant program.  It should be noted that MPWMD is the lead agency for development of the IRWMP and ensuring its execution.  However, the institutional structure of the Water Management Group allows for any agency to be a lead agency for a grant application if a specific funding source is identified and the Water Management Group designates another lead agency.




The focus of the IRWMP is to improve management of local water resources by proposing to implement and monitor a suite of projects that taken as a whole:


·        incorporate water management strategies required under State IRWM guidelines;

·        meet objectives and goals set by stakeholders;

·        accomplish regional priorities;

·        are technically and financially feasible; and

·        assist in meeting Statewide priorities.


These criteria are described in detail in Chapters 4 through 6 in the IRWMP.  While most of these criteria were established by the State to foster IRWM planning statewide, regional priorities (described in the previous section) are specific to each planning Region and IRWMP.


Shown below is the IRWM Project scoring summary.  The methodology was developed and the evaluation completed over a series of meetings among stakeholders between December 2006 and August 2007.  Both quantitative and qualitative factors of each project were evaluated.  A detailed description of the process and ranking system is contained in Chapter 6 and Appendix E in the IRWMP.  The suite of projects was scored on a 100-point basis, with 100 being a score associated with a suite of projects that meets all of the goals and objectives in the IRWMP, satisfies all regional priorities and is technically and financially feasible. The two highest ranking projects achieved this result by incorporating a wide range of strategies and objectives into the project proposal and by addressing multiple Regional priorities.



BACKGROUND:  This section is intended to update the information provided in the July 16, 2007 MPWMD Board meeting packet under Item 15, “Integrated Regional Water Management.”  Detailed background information about the IRWM program is contained in the staff note for that item and can be viewed at:


Propositions 84 and 1E Implementation Grants


DWR is revising the IRWM program and developing new guidelines for providing grants to be funded by Propositions 84 and 1E.  A solicitation package containing the new guidelines for planning grants of up to $1 million each for regional flood control and additional work for IRWM Plans may be available in the Spring of 2008.  Funds to implement projects that are consistent with an adopted IRWM Plan may be available in Fiscal Year 2008-09.  All funds must be appropriated by the State Legislature.  MPWMD continues to work with DWR and planning agencies in the Central Coast funding region to develop a fair and equitable method for allocating IRWM funds from Proposition 84 to the Central Coast.


Progress on IRWMP since the July 16, 2007 MPWMD Board meeting:


·   Stakeholder outreach – staff coordinated a meeting of the Carmel River Advisory Committee in Cachagua Valley to solicit input on problems and issues in that watershed.  Although several residents in the area expressed interest in the IRWM program prior to the meeting, turnout was minimal.  Based on this input, some of the issues include the need for more water conservation measures, a lack of an existing central group or governing structure in Cachagua Valley that might be able to carry out watershed management planning, and the need to improve the water supply to meet demand during drought conditions.  The people in Cachagua Valley are apparently both independent and somewhat cautious about applying for and receiving government funds that may require a substantial administrative effort. 

·   Project descriptions, cost estimates, financing, proposed schedule for implementation, project performance measures, and monitoring program – Project descriptions have been updated and with the exception of the MPWMD ASR Project, preliminary cost estimates have been completed (see Chapter 7, IRWMP).  General project performance measures are evaluated in Appendix E, which contains the detailed results of project prioritization.  Performance measures and detailed monitoring plans will be refined during the planning and design phase for each project. 

·   Final project prioritization, including financial feasibility – stakeholders met and completed a method to prioritize projects (see Chapter 6 and Appendix E).

·   Description of how each project in the final project package is integrated – project linkages and interdependencies are described in Chapter 7.

·   IRWMP monitoring program – A conceptual integrated regional monitoring program has been proposed by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (see Chapter 10).

·   Water Management Group Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – minor revisions to the MOU have been made and the MOU has been recirculated for execution.

·   California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance – see the discussion and Recommendation No. 2 in this staff note.


MPWMD-Sponsored Projects


MPWMD staff is proposing to sponsor or co-sponsor three of the projects contained in the IRWM Plan (see Chapter 7).  The three projects are as follows:


·   Lower Carmel River Restoration and Floodplain Enhancement – Co-sponsors include the Big Sur Land Trust (BSLT) and the Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA).  This project was ranked the second highest of the projects submitted for consideration in the IRWM Plan.  MPWMD staff continues to work with MCWRA and the BSLT to identify funding sources for planning, environmental clearance and design work.  Work in the lower Carmel River would have multiple benefits for the Carmel River State Beach and Lagoon, improve flood conveyance under Highway 1, and also restore the natural river function to portions of the floodplain adjacent to Highway 1 and south of the Carmel River.  This work could beneficially affect homes and structures in the area along the north side of the Carmel River, where the Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA) determined that 69 properties in County Service Area 50 (CSA 50) were subject to flooding twice within a 10-year period.  MCWRA staff has also expressed support for investigating and implementing improvements along the north side of the river that would reduce the potential for flooding at the lagoon and in CSA 50.


·   Seaside Groundwater Basin Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Project – A co-sponsor of this project is California American Water (CAW).  Phase 1 ASR facilities in the Seaside Groundwater Basin could be augmented with:


à           a second dual-well site (four ASR wells total);

à           a new 400-horsepower pump at the existing CAW Del Rey Oaks regulating station; and

à           a new dedicated transmission pipeline (18- to 24-inch diameter) constructed along General Jim Moore Boulevard to the new well site. 


The purpose of this next ASR phase would be to maximize utilization of “excess” capacity in existing CAW Carmel Valley diversion, treatment, and conveyance facilities to the Seaside/Del Rey Oaks area.  Up to 3,235 acre-feet (AF) would be diverted annually from Carmel River sources and injected into the Santa Margarita Sandstone aquifer in the Seaside Groundwater Basin to serve the same purposes as Phase 1 facilities.  Maximum extraction would be approximately 4,057 AF annually.  The infrastructure improvements noted above, as well as diversion and extraction quantities, are tentative projections for the purpose of technical planning and preliminary engineering analysis currently being conducted by CAW in cooperation with MPWMD.   


This project focuses on one of the most significant regional priorities – to find a replacement water supply – and it has several obvious benefits to the environment, including promoting the steelhead run in the Carmel River (another regional priority).  However, the project is still in the earliest planning stage so a cost estimate and funding source for a local match have not yet been determined.  The methodology approved by stakeholders for evaluating the financial feasibility of proposed projects in the IRWMP includes a requirement that a cost estimate and local match be identified.  Projects that do not fulfill this requirement are not eligible to be prioritized, but can be described and included in the IRWMP.  When more is known about the scope, cost, and timing of the ASR Project expansion, MPWMD staff will request through the Water Management Group that the project be scored and ranked and considered for inclusion as a priority in the suite of proposed IRWMP projects.


·   Water Conservation Retrofit Program – MPWMD staff propose to expand the existing Water Saving Appliance Rebate Program by implementing a Weather-Based “Smart” Irrigation Controller Program and a High Efficiency Commercial Clothes Washer Program.  These programs would include a public awareness and education campaign, site evaluations, inspections and reporting.  There are potential significant net reductions in water use from implementing these retrofit programs..  Because this project would address multiple regional priorities and is relatively low-cost, it ranked third in the project scoring.


CEQA COMPLIANCE:  California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines for Section 15262 “Feasibility and Planning Studies” state as follows:


“A project involving only feasibility or planning studies for possible future actions which the agency, board, or commission has not approved, adopted, or funded does not require the preparation of an EIR or negative declaration but does require consideration of environmental factors.”


The IRWMP is not a detailed plan for solving water management issues and implementing projects.  Rather, the IRWMP provides a framework for agencies, non-profit groups, for-profit corporations and other stakeholders with missions and responsibilities to work together on common water management strategies, objectives, goals and projects.   As such, the IRWMP takes into consideration the many plans and policies currently being implemented for water resource management, analyzes how these are interrelated and shows how projects and programs can have multiple benefits when grouped together.


Dealing with environmental factors, such as impacts to surface and groundwater water quality and habitat degradation, were identified as the Region’s top priorities (see Chapter 6, IRWMP).  These priorities are:

·        meet current replacement supply and future demand targets for water supply and support the Seaside Groundwater Basin Watermaster to implement the physical solution in the Basin;

·        reduce the potential for flooding in Carmel Valley and at the Carmel River Lagoon;

·        mitigate effects of storm water runoff throughout the planning Region;

·        address storm water discharges into Areas of Special Biological Significance;

·        promote the steelhead run.

The set of projects described in the plan (see project list below) are, for the most part, in the early planning stages.  Except for an expansion of the Water Conservation Retrofit Program, which was approved in August 2007 by the MPWMD Board and is categorically exempt under CEQA (Class I, §15301), none of the projects contained in the plan have been approved for implementation at this time.  Where feasible, project descriptions include a general explanation of potential impacts (see IRWM Plan, Chapter 7) and a qualitative assessment of potential impacts is contained in Chapter 8.  MPWMD staff believes the evaluation of environmental factors contained in the IRWM Plan is adequate for this level of planning and that the Plan is exempt from further review under CEQA.  But, additional specific environmental review may be required for individual projects. It will be the responsibility of each project sponsor to identify a Lead Agency and to comply with requirements for additional environmental review under CEQA.




Staff anticipates additional effort through Fiscal Year (FY) 2007-2008 to complete an MOU to form the Water Management Group, coordinate the completion and adoption of the IRWMP, work with other Central Coast funding region agencies concerning allocation of Proposition 84 funds, participate in development of IRWM guidelines, and to facilitate coordination of work on  MPWMD-sponsored projects in the IRWM Plan.  District staff is currently fully engaged in these efforts, which will have no near-term impact on the District’s FY 2007-8 adopted budget.  However, if the state appropriates and finalizes guidelines for release of Prop. 84 IRWM bond funds this fiscal year, staff anticipates submitting a grant application request for Board consideration that may require a supplemental appropriation to prepare.       



15-A    Resolution No. 2007-__





[1]. Agency with statutory management authority over water resources in the planning Region.