DISCUSS AND BEGIN PRIORITY SETTING FOR Water Supply Project OPTIONS for the monterey peninsula area


Meeting Date:

March 27, 2008





Darby W. Fuerst




General Manager

Line Item No.:


Prepared By:

Andrew Bell and

Henrietta Stern

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY:  The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD) Board updated its Strategic Plan in February 2008.  The seventh strategic objective under the long-term water supply goal is to “prioritize water supply alternatives” at the April 21, 2008 meeting.  Based on a review of several water supply options over the past few months, including information presented under Agenda Items 1 and 2 at the March 27, 2008 Special Workshop, the Board will begin discussion of which alternative or alternatives should be prioritized in terms of District resources (staff, consultants, budget) in the coming fiscal year.


For several years, seven water supply options have been evaluated, most recently in the 2008 Matrix of Water Supply Alternatives received at the March 17, 2008 meeting.  They include:


1.      Coastal Water Project (CWP) sponsored by California American Water (CAW). 

2.      North Monterey County Desalination Project (NMCDP) sponsored by the Pajaro/Sunny Mesa Community Services District (P/SM). 

3.      Seawater Desalination Project (SDP) in Sand City area sponsored by MPWMD. 

4.      Offshore Seawater Desalination Vessel (SDV) sponsored by Water Standard Company.

5.      Aquifer Storage and Recovery in Seaside Basin (ASR) sponsored by MPWMD. 

6.      Regional Urban Water Augmentation Project (RUWAP) sponsored by Marina Coast Water District (MCWD) and Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA).

7.      Groundwater Replenishment Project (GRP) sponsored by MRWPCA.


Exhibits 3-A, 3-B, and 3-C comprise the refined 2008 Matrix, which include edits suggested by the Board at its March 17, 2008 meeting, as well as minor corrections.  A brief description if each project is provided below in the “Discussion” section.  Information provided by CAW for its presentation on the CWP in Agenda Item 1 may provide more recent information that will be integrated into the Matrix.  Similarly, Agenda Item 2 should provide new information on the scope and cost to complete needed engineering studies and a Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the District’s proposed Seawater Desalination Project in the Sand City area.   Information on the matrix is available on the District website at:  


At its March 17, 2008 meeting, the Board also heard a presentation about a relatively new regional concept, the “Sustainable Water Supply Program for Monterey County,” that is still in the process of being formally defined.  This concept is sponsored by the California Public Utilities Commission Division of Ratepayer Advocates (CPUC/DRA), and is envisioned to be evaluated as an alternative in the Draft EIR for the Coastal Water Project.  The March 17, 2008 power-point presentation is provided as Exhibit 3-D.  


It is notable that information about the scope of tasks and possible timeline for expansion of the existing Los Padres Dam is on the MPWMD Board agenda for April 21, 2008.  No information is available at this writing. 


Previous Information

The matrix goal was to consolidate information about water supply options.  Four desalination alternatives were recently evaluated in detail in the B-E/GEI Final report accepted by the Board at its February 28, 2008 meeting.  The report Executive Summary is provided as Exhibit 3-E.  Please refer to the District website for more information at:


In 2007, the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) was charged with reviewing the seven alternatives in the matrix and identifying advantages and disadvantages associated with each.  The Executive Summary from the CAC’s final report received by the Board at its September 17, 2007 meeting is provided as Exhibit 3-F.  Please refer to the District website for more information at:


Information about each CAC meeting is provided on the website at: 


RECOMMENDATION:  The Board should review the above information on water supply options, ask questions, begin discussion of setting priorities among these alternatives, and indicate whether or not a specific agenda item should be prepared for future consideration. 


Staff does not have specific recommendations for prioritizing alternatives or for the process the Board should use to decide which alternatives should be prioritized, as those are policy decisions to be made by the Board.  However, to aid the Board in its deliberations, staff suggests the Board may wish to consider the “Decision Elements” in the matrix as well as other factors, and to collectively decide which ones are the most important.  The primary matrix topics include the following:


Ø      Project description

Ø      Water yield, including recipients and phasing, and quantities slated to address SWRCB Order 95-10 and/or Seaside Basin Adjudication

Ø      Project cost to customers, including detailed cost breakout of capital, operations and cost per acre-foot

Ø      Financing and assumptions

Ø      Timeline and key milestones

Ø      Permits needed and regulatory agencies involved

Ø      Site control

Ø      Project operations and proponent capabilities

Ø      Project participants including MPWMD opportunities

Ø      Public involvement


Other factors to consider that are not listed specifically in the matrix might include:


Ø      Environmental issues

Ø      Meeting future needs

Ø      Opportunities for cooperation and co-funding/partnering

Ø      Acceptability to the public/community support

Ø      District policy which to the extent feasible, requires development of the water resources within the District boundaries before utilizing water originating outside its boundaries (District Law, Section 118-325.5)


BACKGROUND:  Previous Board meetings and information sources are reviewed in the “Summary” section above.  Extensive information is available on the District website.


DISCUSSION:  The following paragraphs briefly describe the water supply options in the matrix as well as the other projects noted in the “Summary” section above.


Coastal Water Project (Sponsor: CAW)

The major components of the proposed CWP are a seawater desalination plant in Moss Landing at the “Duke East” site on Dolan Road about one-half mile east of Highway 1; use of the intake and outfall for LS Power Group’s Moss Landing Power Plant (MLPP), formerly owned by Duke Energy.; a desalinated water conveyance system to the Monterey Peninsula, including a transmission pipeline, terminal reservoir and pumping stations; and an ASR project in the Seaside Groundwater Basin.  CAW plans to use a site on the MLPP property for a one-year pilot project, but does not yet have a long-term lease agreement for the proposed CWP facilities.  The yield goal for the “basic project” is defined as 11,730 AFY to: (a) provide 10,730 AFY to replace CAW’s Carmel River withdrawals to comply with SWRCB Order WR 95-10, and (b) 1,000 AFY to help alleviate over-pumping in the Seaside Groundwater Basin.  A larger regional project is described as an alternative.  A pilot plant at Moss Landing is nearing completion.


North Monterey County Desalination Project (Sponsor: P/SM)

Project components of the NMCDP include a seawater desalination plant in Moss Landing, transmission pipeline to the Monterey Peninsula, and a potential 30-acre solar energy power production facility to reduce energy costs.   The proposed site is the former National Refractories

and Mineral Corporation’s Moss Landing facility, with planned use of existing intake/outfall pipelines, with possible use of LS Power Group intake and outfall, if needed.  A lease agreement with the property owner has been in effect since March 2004.  The yield goal is 20,000 to 23,000 AFY or more, depending on purveyor demand.  A 20 MGD project, capable of producing up to 22,400 AFY, was used for cost estimates provided in 2006.  Total demands of 20,930 AFY are identified in P/SM materials provided to MPWMD.  The project is intended as a regional project, including meeting the needs of the expanding P/SM service area in northern Monterey County.  P/SM has entered into a management agreement with Poseidon Resources, a private corporation experienced in desalination technology.


Seawater Desalination Project in Sand City (Sponsor: MPWMD)  

The MPWMD Seawater Desalination Project is comprised of a seawater desalination plant in the Sand City area with new seawater intake/brine discharge facilities at Seaside State Beach, Sand City and/or former Fort Ord.  The project design envisioned HDD wells for intake/discharge, but the geology of the former Fort Ord coastal area requires use of the existing MRWPCA outfall for large volumes of brine discharge.  The basic yield goal set in 2003 is 8,400 AFY to legalize existing community demand.  Specifically, the project goal is to meet local, near-term needs, including compliance with Order 95-10, assuming CAW diversions from the Carmel River do not exceed 11,285 AFY and total CAW production remains under 15,285 AFY.  An administrative “Board Review Draft EIR” for the MPWMD Water Supply Project was received at the December 15, 2003 meeting.  To date, it has not been authorized to be refined to a formal Draft EIR to be circulated to the public pursuant to CEQA.  At the January 24, 2008 Board meeting, the Board directed staff to prepare a report on the anticipated scope of consultant services for engineering, geotechnical, and environmental impact work needed to complete a Final EIR on the project.  This information is included as Item 2, Receive MPWMD Staff Report on Requirements to Update MPWMD Seawater Desalination Project in Sand City, in this packet.


Seawater Desalination Vessel (Proponent: Standard Water Company)

Representatives of three firms participating in the project, Standard Water Company, PBS&J, and GE Energy, presented the concept to the Board at a workshop on August 31, 2006.  The seawater desalination vessel project, proposed by Standard Water Company, is based upon an offshore “mother ship” containing a seawater desalination plant using reverse osmosis technology and one or more gas turbine engines to provide energy for the desalination process and associated shipboard facilities.  Treated water would be delivered to an onshore water distribution system such as CAW’s using either a pipeline placed on the seabed or a “shuttle ship” tanker to deliver water to a shoreside facility for unloading. 


Aquifer Storage and Recovery in Seaside Basin (Sponsor: MPWMD)  

The MPWMD ASR Project diverts “excess” flow from the Carmel River in wet periods, as defined by state and federal resource agencies, which would then be treated and transmitted via the CAW distribution system to special injection/recovery wells in the Seaside Groundwater Basin on the former Fort Ord.  Available storage capacity in the Seaside Basin Coastal Subareas serves as an underground reservoir for the diverted water for use during dry periods.  ASR helps to improve environmental conditions in the Carmel River and Seaside Basins by reducing Carmel River diversions in dry periods, when the river environment is most vulnerable, and also helps to replenish the Seaside Basin in wet periods.  The Phase 1 ASR Project includes two

injection/recovery wells located just east of General Jim Moore Boulevard south of its intersection with Eucalyptus Road. The Phase 1 project allows a maximum annual Carmel River diversion and injection of up to 2,426 AFY into the Seaside Basin.  The maximum extraction from the Seaside Basin would be 1,500 AFY.  Average values would be lower and depend on long-term weather conditions.  Computer modeling performed in mid-2006 indicates that the average project yield will be about 920 AFY with operations that maximize use of Seaside Basin water to offset Carmel River pumping in dry periods.  The MPWMD ASR project could relatively easily combine with any other project described above.


The State Water Resources Control Board issued the permanent water rights permit for the Phase 1 ASR Project in November 2007.  Drilling and outfitting of the second of the two District Phase 1 ASR injection/recovery wells was completed in 2007.  Work continues to complete improvements to the CAW distribution system to allow full use of the two wells.  Pending completion of these improvements, MPWMD plans to test the injection capacity of both wells together in mid-2008 by using water supplied from the MCWD system.


The MPWMD Phase 1 ASR is similar to, but not the same ASR project described for CAW’s CWP proposal.  In 2006 the District and CAW signed a Management and Operations Agreement (M&OA) regarding near-term and long-term ASR projects. MPWMD and CAW staff are working to develop an expanded ASR project, ranging from two additional wells intended to complete the ASR portion of the CWP to a larger project that could yield additional water supply


Regional Urban Water Augmentation Project (Sponsors: MCWD and MRWPCA)

The RUWAP involves two major water augmentation supply projects: seawater desalination and recycled water. In the 2004 matrix, a previous variation was referred to as the Regional Urban Recycled Water Project, and focused solely on the use of reclaimed water.  Only 300 AFY is designated for use by CAW customers for non-potable uses such as golf courses, cemeteries, parks and other landscape open space.  The RUWAP could be combined with ASR or the other desalination projects described in the matrix to meet needs of the Monterey Peninsula.  The 2006 information provided by MCWD states the yields to be 1,500 AFY in Phase 1 and 3,300 in Phase 2.  In 2007, MCWD amended the EIR to provide up to 1,727 AFY of reclaimed water. 


Groundwater Replenishment Project (Sponsor: MRWPCA)

A second, related concept known as the Groundwater Replenishment Project (GRP) is currently being evaluated by MRWPCA.  The GRP concept envisions treatment of recycled water to near-potable condition for groundwater percolation or injection into the Seaside Basin.  Similar to the ASR project described above, the purified, recycled water source would be available in winter, when it is not used by food crops such as artichokes, and could be put to a beneficial use rather than be discharged into the ocean.   After meeting California Department of Public Health (CDPH) treatment and migration standards, this supplemental source of water could be made available for recovery and potable reuse.  Similar technology has been very successful in Orange County in Southern California for many years by operation of the Water Factory 21 plant, which creates recycled water for injection into its groundwater basin as a seawater intrusion barrier.  Expanding on that success, the Orange County Water District recently completed an 80 million-gallon-per-day purified, recycled water project using innovative advanced treatment technology that is substantially augmenting their long-term potable water supply.  MRWPCA’s project proposes to use the new Orange County project’s treatment technology. Information provided by MRWPCA in August 2006 stated that the initial project would produce 2,400 AFY, and that a pilot project was anticipated in 2007.  Currently, the pilot treatment facilities are planned for 2008 and 2009.  MRWPCA continues to pursue federal, state (Proposition 84), Watermaster, and CAW funding sources.  The agency has coordinated with MPWMD, CDPH and other regulatory agencies regarding hydrogeology, health issues and engineering.

Sustainable Water Supply Program for Monterey County (Sponsor: CPUC/DRA)

This group of potential projects is being developed through a process initiated by the California Public Utilities, Division of Ratepayer Advocates (CPUC/DRA).  The projects are intended to be an alternative to CAW’s Coastal Water Project that would be more affordable to water customers.  The original intent has been expanded to include supplies for a much larger number of customers than would be served by the CWP.  Areas to be served include the Monterey Peninsula, former Fort Ord, Marina, Castroville, and North Monterey County.  The present target yield totals 29,200 AFY.  Though too new to be on the matrix, the “Sustainable Water Supply Program for Monterey County” includes an incremental approach employing the following elements:



Stormwater reuse

Aquifer storage and recovery

Recycled wastewater from the MRWPCA regional treatment plant for

non-potable uses, both agricultural and urban use

groundwater injection for potable use

Brackish water desalination project in north Marina

Salinas River diversion

Pumping from the Salinas Groundwater Basins. 


Energy supplied by methane co-generation and other sustainable technologies are planned to be used.  MPWMD staff and Board members have been involved in the series of meetings, known as the Regional Plenary Oversight Group, or REPOG, convened by consultants to the CPUC/DRA, along with representatives of other water and wastewater agencies, cities, Monterey County, private water purveyors, community groups, and interested citizens.  MPWMD and other agencies have contributed funds to the effort.  The time goal of this process is to have a set of projects described in adequate detail to be included as an alternative to the Coastal Water Project that is analyzed in the Draft EIR being prepared by consultants to the CPUC.  The CPUC staff has indicated that the information must be provided by June 2008.



3-A      MPWMD Comparative Matrix, Part I, Desalination Projects (March 2008)

3-B      MPWMD Comparative Matrix, Part II, Desalination Projects (March 2008)

3-C      MPWMD Comparative Matrix, Part III, Projects Other than Desalination (March 2008)

3-D      PowerPoint presentation by Lyndel Melton, RMC Water and Environment:  Sustainable Water Supply Program for Monterey County (March 2008)

3-E      Title page, Table of Contents, and Executive Summary of final report titled “Evaluation of Seawater Desalination Projects Proposed for the Monterey Peninsula,” by Bookman-Edmonston/GEI Consultants, Separation Processes Inc., and Malcom-Pirnie Inc. (February 20, 2008)

3-F       Title page, Table of Contents, and Executive Summary, Final Report from the Community Advisory Committee to the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District Board of Directors (September 11, 2007)