Special Meeting/Board Workshop on Aquifer Storage and Recovery

Board of Directors

Monterey Peninsula Water Management District

January 25, 2006




The meeting was called to order at 7 PM in the Boardroom of the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency.


Directors present:

Michelle Knight, Chair – Division 4

Judi Lehman, Vice Chair – Division 2

Alvin Edwards – Division 1

Kristi Markey – Division 3

Larry Foy – Division 5

David Pendergrass – Mayoral Representative


Directors absent:

David Potter – Monterey County Board of Supervisors


General Manager present:  David A. Berger


District Counsel present:  David Laredo



The assembly recited the Pledge of Allegiance.



No comments were directed to the Board during Oral Communications.



District Counsel Laredo reported that he provided an update to the Board on the five items of existing litigation listed on the agenda.  No reportable action was taken.  The Board directed District Counsel and the General Manager to contact parties to the litigation and schedule a meeting as soon as practicable to discuss the proposed Watermaster board. The Directors also discussed renewal of the General Manager’s employment agreement.  That item will be considered by the Board in open session at an upcoming meeting.



1.                   Seaside Basin Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR):  Update on Test Program, Management & Operations Agreement, Phase 1 Permanent Project, and Review of Potential Project Expansions and Recycled Water Recharge

Following the presentation and discussion of this topic, the Board asked staff to develop a timetable and cost estimate for accelerating development of the Phase 1 ASR Project, and present that information for the FY 2006-2007 Budget planning effort.  The Board also expressed support for District staff working with the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency on ASR.


The District’s Water Resources Manager, Joe Oliver, presented the report.  An outline of the report is on file at the District office and can be viewed at the District’s web site.   In response to questions from the Board, the following additional comments were made by District staff and Counsel.  The ASR component of California American Water’s (Cal Am) Coastal Water Project is similar to the District’s Phase 1 Project, so it is considered to be compatible with the Coastal Water Project.  The District plans to work with the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) on its Groundwater Recharge Project.  The MRWPCA will benefit from the District’s technical knowledge of the Seaside Groundwater Basin.


The Notice of Preparation for the ASR Environmental Impact Report lists the amount of water that could be diverted from the Carmel River for injection into the Seaside Basin for Phases 1, 2 and 3.  The report also lists estimates of the quantity of water that might be extracted from the Seaside Basin.   These numbers are estimates.  Additional testing and refinement of data would need to be completed in order to determine the actual yield of water extracted from the Basin. Discussions are underway with Cal Am to determine what infrastructure improvements must be made and funded by Cal Am in order for the District to move ahead on the Phase 1 Project.


According to District Counsel Laredo, the January 12, 2006 Tentative Decision in the Seaside Basin Adjudication lawsuit stated that the MPWMD has authority to develop water resources within its boundaries.  The District can store water for the benefit of the District in the Basin, and in “subterranean reservoirs.”  The District is not required to get approval for the proposed ASR projects from the Watermaster.  The role of the Watermaster is to manage existing production from the Seaside Basin and to provide a supplemental supply to reduce pumping from the Basin. 


The Board discussed the issue of granting water rights to Cal Am in the ASR Management and Operations Agreement.  The following comments were made by the Directors:  (1) The MOA should state that Cal Am cannot sell the water right. (2) The water rights issue should be removed from the agreement.  (4) Cal Am requires that we give away our water right in order to finalize the agreement.  We are not negotiating correctly.  I don’t think Cal Am will stall this agreement much longer, especially in light of the tentative decision in the adjudication lawsuit.  (5) This agreement requires that the water right be shared.  It could enable the District to get a permanent permit to conduct ASR.  (6) Giving away a public asset to Cal Am is absurd.  (7) We should move forward and negotiate with the intention of licensing the water right. 



The following comments were directed to the Board during the public comment period on this item.  (1) John Fischer, resident of Pacific Grove, requested that the EIR address the possibility of a drought and how that would affect yield from the ASR Project.  Plans should be developed in the event of a drought. General Manager Berger responded to the concern by noting that the District has advised NOAA Fisheries that even in dry years, instream fishery flows will be respected.  (2) Patricia Bernardi, resident of Carmel Valley, expressed concern about the proposal to grant Cal Am the rights to water used or usable from any water source that will provide potable water for municipal supply.  She stated that the Department of Health Services may require a long-term contract with Cal Am, but they have not required that Cal Am be granted water rights.  (3) Linda Agerbak, representing Citizens for Public Water, thanked the Board for moving ahead on the ASR project and creating new water source for the community.  She expressed appreciation to the Board for conducting public workshops to educate the community on the water situation and our negotiations with Cal Am.  (4) Manuel Fiero, resident of Monterey, urged the Board to be cautions about granting water rights to Cal Am.  (5) Steve Leonard, General Manager of California American Water, stated that the company is moving ahead cooperatively with the District on development of ASR and construction of a pipeline for the Phase 1 project.  He noted that major infrastructure improvements must be made to the Cal Am system in order to progress on proposed ASR Phases 2 and 3.



The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM.




                                                                                                                David A. Berger, Secretary to the Board