Consider Expenditure of Budgeted Funds to Contract with Idias Consulting to Provide Assistance with Projects Related to the Seaside Basin Watermaster and the Water Allocation Program Mitigation Plan


Meeting Date:

February 26, 2009





Darby Fuerst,




General Manager

Line Item No.:


Prepared By:

Joe Oliver

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee recommendation:   The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on February 17, 2009 and recommended approval on a 3 to 0 vote.

CEQA Compliance:  N/A







SUMMARY:   Staff proposes to retain the services of Mark Dias, principal of IDIAS Consulting, to provide assistance with Seaside Basin Watermaster and MPWMD Allocation Program Mitigation Plan reporting requirements during the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2008-09.  It is anticipated that this interim assistance will help to supplement staff’s resources until such time that the vacant staff position in the Water Resources Division can be filled.  This assistance will be allocated at $16,000 for Watermaster tasks, which are reimbursable through existing contracts between the MPWMD and the Watermaster, and $4,000 for Allocation Mitigation tasks (specifically the pending 2007-2008 report), which are unreimbursable costs.  Mr. Dias would be retained under a professional services contract agreement with the District through FY 2008-09, which ends on June 30, 2009.  It is anticipated that this interim assistance will entail approximately 20 hours per week.


RECOMMENDATION:  Staff recommends that the Board authorize the General Manager to execute a contract with IDIAS Consulting for a not-to-exceed amount of $20,000 for technical assistance within the Water Resources Division until June 30, 2009.  If this item is approved along with the Consent Calendar, staff will process a contract agreement for these services with IDIAS Consulting.


BACKGROUND:  District management and staff have been discussing the need for staffing within the Water Resources Division for approximately the past two years.  This need has been driven by: (a) the desire to provide a “succession plan” for eventual replacement of existing hydrologic and hydrogeologic staff expertise in the Division, and (b) significant new technical tasks that have been added for Division staff, including recent contract work with the Seaside Basin Watermaster.  The assignment in 2008 of the former Water Resources Division Manager to General Manager has accelerated the need to augment the Division’s staff resources.  Staff solicited applications for the position of Senior Hydrogeologist in 2008.  However, a successful candidate was not retained for this position and staff is currently in the process of recruiting candidates, either at the Senior or Associate level. The proposed assistance from IDIAS Consulting will be an interim measure until the full-time permanent position can be filled.  Mr. Dias served a similar role in supplementing staff’s resources in 2008; therefore, he is well suited for this interim assistance as he is already familiar with these Water Resources Division programs. Prior to 2008, Mr. Dias also had pertinent experience through previous employment in the 1990s with the Monterey County Health Department, Division of Environmental Health.  In addition, Mr. Dias was retained by the District in 2005 to provide technical assistance on implementation of the District’s new regulations governing the creation and amendment of Water Distribution Systems.


IMPACT TO STAFF / RESOURCES:  The proposed contract with IDIAS Consulting will provide interim relief to existing staff in the Water Resources Division, by helping to spread out and more effectively execute the current workload.  It is estimated that 80% of the assigned tasks will be reimbursable through existing contracts between the MPWMD and the Seaside Basin Watermaster.  Funds for the remaining 20% will be from unencumbered funds that were already budgeted when General Manager Darby Fuerst was occupying the Water Resources Manager position.