ITEM:

CONSENT CALENDAR

8.

RECEIVE 2006-07 MITIGATION PROGRAM ANNUAL REPORT

Meeting Date:

From:

Darby Fuerst,

Program/

N/A

General Manager

Line Item No.:

Prepared By:

Darby Fuerst

Cost Estimate:

N/A

## Committee Recommendation:N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A for report

SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATION:  The Board should receive the 2006-2007 Mitigation Program Annual Report, and direct staff to distribute copies (paper or CD) to resource agencies, local libraries, and advise the public of its availability.  The Executive Summary provides an overview of the major accomplishments, observed trends, conclusions and/or recommendations.  The Executive Summary for the 2006-07 Mitigation Program Annual Report will be provided under separate cover.

The annual report primarily reviews District activities that address the effects of community water use on the Carmel River environment in Fiscal Year 2006-2007 (FY 06-07), defined as the 12-month period from July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007.  Please note that hydrologic data and all well reporting data are reported using a Water Year (October 1, 2006 through September 30, 2007) in order to be consistent with reporting required by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).  This annual report has been delayed because of other work priorities.

This report is the sixteenth annual report since the Mitigation Program Plan was adopted by the District Board in November 1990, as part of the certification of the MPWMD Water Allocation Environmental Impact Report (EIR), in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  Copies of the full report will be provided to the Board members upon request, and will be provided to libraries and resource agencies within two weeks.

BACKGROUND:  On November 5, 1990, the MPWMD Water Allocation Program Final EIR was certified by the MPWMD Board.  The Board also adopted findings, and passed a resolution that set Option V as the new water allocation limit.  Option V resulted in a production limit of 16,744 acre-feet per year (AFY) for the California American Water (CAW) system.  This amount was increased to 17,641 AFY based on new supply provided by the Paralta Well in Seaside in 1993, and other changes since 1993.  It is notable that restrictions on Carmel River diversions imposed by SWRCB Order WR 95-10 and the Seaside Basin Adjudication finalized by the Superior Court in March 2006 have limited actual CAW production in Water Year 2007 to 14,789 AFY.

The Water Allocation EIR determined that even though Option V is the least damaging alternative of the five options analyzed, production at this level still may result in significant, adverse, environmental impacts that must be mitigated.  Thus, the CEQA Findings adopted by the Board in 1990 included a "Five-Year Mitigation Program for Option V" and several general mitigation measures.  The Five-Year Mitigation Program formally began in July 1991 with the new fiscal year and was slated to run until June 30, 1996.  Following public hearings in May 1996 and District Board review of draft reports through September 1996, the Five-Year Evaluation Report for the 1991-1996 comprehensive program, as well as an Implementation Plan for FY 1997 through FY 2001, were finalized in October 1996.  In its July 1995 Order WR 95-10, the SWRCB ordered CAW to carry out any aspect of the “Five-Year Mitigation Program for Option V” that the District does not continue after June 1996.  To date, as part of the annual budget approval process, the District Board has voted to continue the program.  The Mitigation Program presently accounts for a significant portion of the District budget in terms of revenue (derived primarily from the MPWMD user fee on the CAW bill) and expenditures.

For projects or programs that entail significant adverse impacts, CEQA requires that an annual report be prepared documenting (1) the actual mitigation activities that were carried out by the lead agency, and (2) the effectiveness of the mitigation activities as measured via a monitoring program.  The 2006-2007 Water Allocation Mitigation Report responds to these requirements.

The first three annual reports (1991, 1992, and 1993) covered the calendar year January 1 through December 31.  Because this time period conflicted with the District’s budget cycle (July 1-June 30), the fourth annual report covered the 18-month period from January 1994 through June 1995 to bridge the transition from a calendar year to a fiscal year.  The fifth (and subsequent) annual reports cover the fiscal year, defined as July 1 through June 30 of the following year.  A notable exception is that hydrologic data are always reported in a water year (October 1-September 30) in order to be consistent with the accounting period used by the SWRCB.  Since 2002, well production data are also reported in a water year to be consistent with SWRCB reporting requirements.

The 2006-2007 report reviews District activities relating to water supply and demand, followed by mitigation measures for specific environmental impacts.  It also provides a summary of costs for the Mitigation Program as well as references.   For each topic, the mitigation measure adopted as part of the certified Allocation EIR is briefly described, followed by a summary of activities carried out in FY 06-07 that relate to the topic.  Monitoring results, where applicable, are then presented.  Finally, a summary of observed trends, conclusions, and/or recommendations are provided, where pertinent.

IMPACT ON STAFF/RESOURCES: It is notable that program implementation entails a significant portion of the District budget.  In FY 06-07, total expenses for the July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007 period were about $3.29 million, including direct personnel expenses of$1.64 million, operating costs totaling $325,000, project expenses in the amount of$1.29 million, and \$34,000 in capital equipment and fixed asset purchases.  Eight full-time positions (plus seasonal aides) are devoted primarily to implementation of the Mitigation Program.   Distribution of the Mitigation Program Annual Report involves the District staff time and cost for copying and mailing of about 40 reports to agency staff, members of the Carmel River Advisory Committee, and local libraries.

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