Special Meeting/Board Workshop on Monterey Bay Regional Water Authority

Governance Proposal and Draft Formation Agreement

Board of Directors

Monterey Peninsula Water Management District

February 22, 2006




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


Board members 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

David Potter Monterey County Board of Supervisors (Arrived at 7:10 PM)


Board members absent: None


General Manager present: David A. Berger


District Counsel present: David C. Laredo



The assembly recited the pledge of allegiance.



No comments were directed to the Board during Oral Communications.



1.             Monterey Bay Regional Water Authority Governance Proposal and Draft Formation Agreement

General Manager Berger gave a presentation on this item. A summary of his comments is on file at the District office. Following Board discussion, District staff was directed to schedule a public meeting of the proposed parties to the draft agreement in order to determine which entities are interested in participating on the Monterey Bay Regional Water Authority (MBRWA). The meeting should be held within six weeks of the February 22, 2006 Board workshop. Each participating agency should be represented by an elected official and one staff person. A facilitator should be hired to moderate the meeting. The Monterey County Water Resources Agency will work with the District to coordinate this meeting. The format of the meeting should allow open discussion by the participants, and public comment will be received.


SUMMARY OF DISCUSSION: At the request of the Board, Curtis Weeks, General Manager of the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, addressed the assembly. He explained that it is very important to consider regional project planning, in order to take advantage of state and federal funding sources. He noted that the jurisdictions listed as potential signatories to the Agreement have all expressed interest in formation of the MBRWA. The draft formation agreement is the first phase of a process that will allow the participants to pool their resources to find opportunities for collaboration on water supply solutions.


The following comments were made during the Board discussion. The $5,000 fee to join the MBRWA was set at an affordable amount to encourage participation so the water needs of each community can be met. Monterey County is committed to serving as the catalyst for formation of the MBRWA, but the funding issue needs to be settled. Due to budget constraints, Monterey County may not be able to commit $250,000 to the effort as they had previously offered. Mr. Weeks has made presentations to the cities mentioned in the formation agreement. They indicated an interest in reviewing the agreement and had questions about how all the member agencies would work together, and what level of public participation was envisioned in establishment of the MBRWA. Representatives from Fort Ord and the Presidio of Monterey have participated in meetings to plan formation of the MBRWA, but they are not listed as proposed signatories to the draft formation agreement. The goal of the MBRWA is to determine whether or not to develop one large desalination project; the Authority will analyze the various water supply options and decide which project(s) would be most beneficial and cost-effective in the near term and long term. The State is evaluating the once-through cooling process proposed for a desalination project at Moss Landing, and may determine that the process is inappropriate which will affect water supply planning in this area. The MBRWA could be expanded to include Santa Cruz County and the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency if it were feasible to expand projects into those areas. Mr. Weeks has contacted the Pajaro/Sunny Mesa Community Services District (PSMCSD) several times regarding participation on the MBRWA. He received a letter from PSMCSD in which they declined to participate. It could take ten years to develop a water supply project. Discussions of how to allocate costs among the participants for a water supply project will also be lengthy. The District should ensure that participation in planning for water supply solutions through the MBRWA will not interfere with timely development of projects the District is working on. Concerns were raised by MPWMD Board members that due to the recent lawsuit by the City of Seaside against Cal Am and the resulting adjudication of the Seaside Basin, there might not be support among the proposed parties to join the MBRWA and work cooperatively together on the water supply planning effort.



The following comments were directed to the Board during the public comment period on this item. (1) Linda Agerbak, a member of FLOW, stated that the PSMCSD perceives that it has been excluded from the MBRWA planning process. She referred to a letter from the PSMCSD dated November 4, 2005 (on file at the District office) stating that the agency is willing to work with any public agency. (2) John Fischer, resident of Pacific Grove, urged the Board to inform the public about the proposed meeting in advance. He noted that he found it difficult to discover public notice of the February 22, 2006 preliminary meeting of the Watermaster. (3) George Riley, a resident of Monterey, stated that it will take the public time to understand the need for regional cooperation to solve regional water supply problems. Also, the MBRWA needs to decide if Monterey or North County water issues take priority. The Board could proceed quickly on development of a water supply solution, apart from the MBRWA. (3) Steve Leonard, Cal Am, stated that the company supports a regional solution. Cal Am will move forward on development of the Coastal Water Project. Cal Am would be agreeable to another entity taking over development of the project or partnering with Cal Am. He reminded the Board that Cal-Am and Monterey County were the first to collaborate on joint development of the Coastal Water Project.



The meeting was adjourned at 9 PM.





David A. Berger, Secretary to the Board