A.        Consider Authorization of Contract for Assistance with Preparation of the Salinas and Carmel River Basins Study


B.        authorize the general manager to Enter into a Grant Agreement with the United States Bureau of Reclamation


Meeting Date:

April 5, 2016





David J. Stoldt,


Water Supply Projects


General Manager

Line Item No:

1-5-1 Groundwater Replenishment Project




Prepared By:

Larry Hampson

Cost Estimate:

$45,000 (initial)


General Counsel Review: N/A

Committee Recommendation: The Water Supply Planning Committee reviewed this item on April 5, 2016 and recommended ____________. The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on April 11, 2016 and recommended __________.

CEQA Compliance: N/A


SUMMARY: The United State Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is recommending funding in FY2015 of a grant of up to $950,000 through its WaterSMART program for the Salinas and Carmel River Basins Study (Study) (see Exhibit 3-A). The Study will be a collaborative effort to evaluate future water supply and demand imbalances in a changing climate and to develop potential adaptation strategies to meet future demands. Study partners include the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA), the Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA), the San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department (SLO County) and MPWMD (Study Partners). The Study would cover an area of about 5,000 square miles that includes the Carmel River Basin, the Monterey Peninsula, and the Salinas River Basin in Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties. It is intended that eh Study be completed within three years and be complementary to the Drought Contingency Plan for North Monterey County that the District is administrative lead for.


The recipient cost share (non-federal or partner share) is a minimum of 50% of total project costs. The Study Partners have identified $1.155 million in non-federal share, which exceeds the minimum. The District has identified up to $1.126 million of potential cost-share that includes a combination of ongoing District expenses and reimbursements for activities related to the Study. Expenses specific to the Study are estimated at $45,000 (i.e., expenses that are not shared among other District programs and activities).

Reclamation goals for this Study include: (1) downsizing a global climate model (GCM) from a 100 kilometer grid to a 6 to 10 kilometer grid that is applied to the two basins; (2) developing a range of climate change scenarios extending to the year 2100; 3) working with the Study Partners to input data from the downsized GCM into water resource models developed for each basin; and 4) identifying potential adaptation strategies to meet future municipal, industrial, and environmental water demands.


RECOMMENDATION: If this item is approved, the Board will:


A) Authorize the General Manager to enter into an agreement for services with Brown and Caldwell to assist with tasks in the Study Plan for a cost not-to-exceed $45,000; and B) Authorize the General Manager to enter into a grant agreement with Reclamation to receive funds and complete a Salinas and Carmel River Basins Study. District staff recommends approval of the above actions.




Development of a Study would build on several previous and concurrent planning efforts in the Monterey Peninsula, Greater Monterey County, and San Luis Obispo County Integrated Regional Water Management planning regions and the network of agencies and stakeholders that is advancing the Pure Water Monterey project, a Drought Contingency Plan for North Monterey County, and a Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin. The Study would the following specific activities:



Detailed descriptions of Tasks are contained in Exhibit 3-B.


Most of the non-federal share for development of the Study is anticipated to come from past expenditures (after July 1, 2014) and existing District efforts including: communication and public outreach plans to continue water conservation; feasibility and project studies for drought-resistant projects such as for the Pure Water Monterey project; a surface-groundwater model for the Carmel River Basin; a groundwater model for the Seaside Groundwater Basin; development of a long-term plan for Los Padres Dam; and development of a habitat simulation model for steelhead in the Carmel River. MPWMD and project partners would work with Reclamation to develop a detailed work plan. Reclamation would be involved in the management of the planning process and can provide technical assistance to develop elements of the Study.

IMPACT ON STAFF/RESOURCES: If the District enters in an agreement to receive grant funds, staff time will be required to administrate the grant over approximately two years. The non-federal share is anticipated to be a combination of in-kind services from Study Partners (including MPWMD, MRWPCA, MCWRA, SLO County), such as staff labor, and consultant expenses associated with existing programs.



3-A June 30, 2015 Letter re: Study Selection (Gonzales to Hampson)

3-B April 2015 Salinas and Carmel River Basins Study Proposal