Meeting Date:

January 29, 2009








Darby Fuerst,




General Manager

Line Item No.:



Prepared By:

Henrietta Stern

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation: N/A

CEQA Compliance: N/A


This is a quarterly report on Monterey Peninsula Water Management District water supply augmentation projects for the October 1 through December 31, 2008 period.  The next quarterly report will be written in April  2009.  Limited background information is provided herein.  A detailed historical overview of previous action may be found in previous year’s reports.  Detailed quarterly updates are typically prepared for the January, April, July and October regular Board meetings.  An abbreviated monthly report on Strategic Plan objectives is provided at each regular Board meeting.  This information can be found by clicking on the pertinent agenda item on the District website at: 

Updated weekly information is also available in the General Manager’s letter to the Board at:  An MPWMD Board Special Workshop on water supply alternatives was held on March 27, 2008, which provides good background information.  Please refer to the District website at: 


For the past several years, the MPWMD Board has identified water supply goals and objectives at Strategic Planning Workshops, often held every six months.  The most recent goals and objectives were adopted at the February 28, 2008 meeting as follows (due dates shown in italics):


Goal: Determine and participate in long-term water supply solution(s)

Ø      LS1: Present to the Legislative Committee a briefing paper on the draft Cease and Desist Order (CDO) [issued by SWRCB] (02/15/08)

Ø      LS2: Recommend to the Board for action a MPWMD position on the Draft CDO (02/28/08).

Ø      LS3: Lobby local, state and federal legislators and boards regarding the MPWMD position on the draft CDO (prior to draft CDO hearing).

Ø      LS4: Prepare and coordinate testimony for the draft CDO hearing based on Board policy and direction (prior to draft CDO hearing).

Ø      LS5: Refine and present to the Board the matrix of water supply alternatives (using the quantified supply target) (03/17/08).

Ø      LS6: Ensure that CAW presents updated water supply proposals, alternatives and timeline (03/27/08).

Ø      LS7: Prioritize water supply alternatives (04/21/08).

Ø      LS8: Ensure the remaining entities adopt a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for participation in the Monterey Bay Regional Water Solutions Task Force to evaluate regional water supply solutions (4/21/08).

Ø      LS9: Provide technical support or guidance to the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) for its Groundwater Replenishment Project in the Seaside Basin (ongoing).


Goal: Complete ASR Phase 1 and Expanded ASR Project(s)

Ø      ASR1: Notify and make a presentation to the Watermaster, informing them of MPWMD’s water storage rights (06/30/08).

Ø      ASR2: Conduct a dual-well injection test and report results to the Board (06/30/08).  

Ø      ASR3: Achieve consensus with CAW on final MPWMD and CAW Phase 1 ASR facilities design, including a schedule (08/01/08).

Ø      ASR4: Achieve consensus with CAW on the yield and schedule for the next phase of ASR expansion (08/01/08).

Ø      ASR5: Complete negotiations with CAW for joint ownership of water rights to obtain future ASR and other water rights permit(s) (08/01/08).


The following paragraphs describe action on the water supply objectives identified above in the October –December 2008 period, with discussion about events in early January 2009, if needed. For clarity, background information is provided for certain objectives.  The following paragraphs are organized as follows as certain objectives are related to the same subject: 

Ø      Draft CDO

Ø      Water Supply Alternatives

Ø      Complete ASR Phase 1 and Expanded ASR Project(s)




Objectives for Draft Cease and Desist Order


On January 15, 2008, the SWRCB issued a draft Cease and Desist Order against CAW.  The draft CDO refers to SWRCB Order 95-10, issued in July 1995, and notes that compliance with Order 95-10  – that is, to find a replacement water supply to offset unlawful diversions from the Carmel River Basin – has not yet been achieved after 12 years.  The draft CDO notes that diversion to serve the community continue to have adverse impacts to fish, wildlife and their habitat, with particular reference to federally protected species such as the Carmel River steelhead run.   The draft CDO proposed a cutback in CAW water diversions that would be equivalent to another 15% reduction from current community use beginning October 1, 2008 to a 50% reduction in community water use by the year 2014.  Extensive fines could be levied against CAW, which potentially could pass them on to the community, if compliance was not achieved.  Given that the Monterey Peninsula already has one of the lowest water use rates in the state, concerns have been expressed about the feasibility of the cutbacks in the draft CDO and/or the economic and quality of life impacts to the community.


CAW protested the draft CDO and was granted a formal hearing before the SWRCB, similar to a court case.  The District and several other parties filed the requisite paperwork to be parties in this proceeding.  The hearings in Sacramento were split into two parts: 

Ø      Part 1:  June 19 and 20, 2008; focus on compliance with Order 95-10 and state water code.

Ø      Part 2:  July 23-25, 2008 and August 7-8, 2008; focus on content of CDO, and rationale for suggested changes. 


The SWRCB held a public hearing to take policy statements in Monterey on April 1, 2008. The District’s Public Outreach Committee also prepared an informational flier about the CDO that was mailed to all District households prior to the April 1 hearing.  A total of 35 people made presentations to the SWRCB officials present on April 1, with many more in attendance.  That same morning, MPWMD staff gave a presentation to the SWRCB Board on the Integrated Regional Watershed Management Plan.    


Objective LS1: Present to the Legislative Committee a Briefing Paper on the Draft CDO


Action in October-December 2008: None. Task completed on February 15, 2008, as scheduled. 


Objective LS2: Recommend to the Board for Action a MPWMD Position on the Draft CDO


Action in J October-December  2008:  None.  The Board adopted Resolution No. 2008-08 in opposition to the Draft CDO at its May 19, 2008 meeting.    


Discussion/Background:  The committee was formed in February 2008; members are Directors Dave Potter, Bob Brower and Judi Lehman.  It met throughout the spring of 2008.  Information on the Legislative Advocacy Committee may be viewed on the District website at:  Information about the adopted resolution opposed to the CDO may be viewed at:


Objective LS3: Lobby Local, State and Federal Legislators and Boards Regarding the MPWMD Position on the Draft CDO


Action in October-December 2008:  None.  The Board approved a contract with a government relations consultant, JEA and Associates, at its April 19, 2008 meeting. 


Discussion/Background:  Legislative Committee members have contacted elected representatives and SWRCB Board members, as allowed.  Notably, Assemblymember John Laird wrote the SWRCB on March 25, 2008 to request that the SWRCB defer action on the CDO until after the CPUC issues the EIR on the Coastal Water Project and evaluates alternatives to the Moss Landing desalination site.  Information on the consultant contract with JEA and Associates may be viewed at:  



Objective LS4: Prepare and Coordinate Testimony for the Draft CDO Hearing Based on Board Policy and Direction


Action in October-December 2008: District Counsel and the General Manager, as directed by the Board, engaged in activities related to settlement negotiations and preparation of final briefs (completed early October 2008) and response briefs (completed November 2008). The District and community await the determination of the SWRCB hearing officers.


Discussion/Background:  Participation in the SWRCB hearing process is an intensive effort led by District Counsel.  The District submitted a witness list to the SWRCB on March 14, 2008.  Counsel attended the March 19, 2008 Pre-Hearing Conference in Sacramento, where the SWRCB identified the key issues, testimony deadlines and other hearing logistics.  As directed by the Board, General Manager Darby Fuerst prepared written testimony for the June 19-20, 2008 Part 1 hearings; Fuerst also testified orally at the hearings, accompanied by the District Engineer and District Counsel. A major effort by several members of District technical staff and Counsel in July and August 2008 included preparation of written testimony and many exhibits for the July 23-25 and August 8-9, 2008 hearings.  District staff members provided direct testimony and were cross examined at length at these hearings. 


Objectives for Water Supply Alternatives


Objective LS5: Refine and Present to the Board the Matrix of Water Supply Alternatives, using the Quantified Supply Target


Action in October-December 2008: None. Task completed in March 2008.  


Discussion/Background:  The 2008 updated matrix was received by the Board at its March 17, 2008 meeting, as scheduled.  It incorporated the consultant information received in February 2008 and suggestions from an ad hoc Community Advisory Committee (CAC) received in September 2007, Minor refinements were made to the matrix for the March 27, 2008 special workshop on water supply alternatives.  Refer to the website at:  and 

Materials associated with each CAC meeting may be found at the District website at:

For more information on the CAC itself, refer to the District website at:


Since Fall 2004, the District has prepared an annual Comparative Matrix of Water Supply Alternatives spreadsheet to compare various projects for subjects such as cost and financing, implementation timeline, water yield, environmental review, and others.  The current matrix includes three shore-based desalination projects as well as preliminary information on the ship-based Seawater Conversion Vessels (SCV) technology, now known as the “Offshore Desalination Project” (ODP).  The matrix also includes information on the MPWMD ASR Project and two projects featuring purified recycled water, one combined with desalination.  For background information on the 2004 and 2005 matrices, please refer to the District website at:  To review the October 2006 matrix, visit:  


As part of development of the October 2006 matrix, in February 2006 the District Board approved retaining a team of water supply engineering design experts led by Bookman-Edmonston/GEI Consultants to conduct an independent technical evaluation of three proposed desalination projects previously reviewed in the 2004 and 2005 matrices: (1) Coastal Water Project at Moss Landing proposed by CAW; (2) the Monterey Bay Regional Desalination Project at Moss Landing proposed by Pajaro/Sunny Mesa Community Services District; and (3) MPWMD 8,400 AFY desalination project proposed in the Sand City area.   This effort culminated in a report presented to the Board at its June 29, 2006 special workshop.  Copies of the full report are available at the District office, and presentation materials may be viewed at the District website at: . 


At the June 2006 workshop, a number of questions and comments were posed by the Board and public.  At its July 17, 2006 meeting, the Board determined it would defer action on amending the B-E/GEI contract and preparing a final report until after the September 25, 2006 Board Strategic Planning Workshop.  A summary of comments by the Board, the public, and project proponents, including copies of written comments received was provided to the Board in a memorandum from the District Engineer dated September 12, 2006.  At its October 16, 2006 meeting, the Board determined that it wished to add review of the ODP technology to the scope of work.  The Board approved a B-E/GEI contract amendment at its February 22, 2007 Board meeting to include formal responses to questions and more detailed information about the ODP technology.  For more information about the B/E-GEI contract review in January 2007, please refer to the District website at: .


B/E-GEI prepared a draft report evaluating four desalination projects in the matrix, which was received by the Board on July 16, 2007.  Three sets of comments were received by the August 17, 2007 deadline. The consultant scope of work was amended by the Board on September 17, 2007 to address these comments, which included substantial new data from the ODP proponents.  The B/E-GEI final report was received at the Board’s February 28, 2008 meeting.  Consult the District website for more information at: .


Water Supply Target:  One Matrix component addresses how well various projects meet the water supply targets adopted by the Board in 2007, based on a series of meetings in 2006 and 2007.  A staff-recommended value of 12,500 AFY for existing needs was presented to the Board for its consideration at the November 20, 2006 meeting.  For more information, refer to the District website at: .


A special workshop was held on May 18, 2006 to address future water needs, based primarily on projections made by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), comprised of jurisdiction planning staff.  The TAC evaluated water needs associated with various types of uses anticipated at “build-out,” based on current General Plans.  The TAC estimated that 4,545 AFY above existing needs would be required, as described in the District website at: .

No changes to the May 2006 estimate were proposed in November 2006.


The staff recommendation of 12,500 AFY for existing needs and 4,545 AFY for future needs was accepted by the Board in November 2006 to submit to the jurisdictions for comment with requested written comment by March 15, 2007.  A special workshop of the jurisdictions’ TAC and Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) was held on January 9, 2007, where District staff reviewed the development of its assumptions in detail, with emphasis on existing needs.  The TAC at its January 23, 2007 meeting accepted the information on existing needs.  The jurisdictions provided feedback in February and March 2007.  Jurisdiction comments were reviewed and the Board approved the 12,500 AFY and 4,545 AFY yield targets at its meeting of April 16, 2007.  Refer to the District website at: .    


Objective LS6: Ensure That CAW Presents Updated Water Supply Proposals, Alternatives and Timeline


Action in October-December 2008: None.  Task completed in March 2008. Beginning in December 2008, the Board has invited CAW’s General Manager, Craig Anthony, to provide a monthly report on CAW’s activities and answer questions about pertinent issues.


Discussion/Background:  The Coastal Water Project is described above.  As scheduled, CAW Vice President Tom Bunosky made a presentation to the MPWMD Board at its March 27, 2008 Special Workshop on the current regulatory situation, CAW efforts on the Coastal Water Project, and updated timelines.  Project completion is not envisioned until late 2015 or early 2016, based on current progress on the EIR for the project.  The CAW presentation is on the MPWMD website at: .

A special meeting was held on October 30, 2008 which focused on coordination with CAW regarding water supply issues.  Information is available on the District website at:


Objective LS7: Prioritize Water Supply Alternatives


Action in October-December 2008:   Pursuant to a revised contract authorized by the Board in August  2008, environmental and engineering consultants presented a report to the Board on specific issues associated with constraints and feasibility of seawater desalination in the former Fort Ord coastal area at its October 20, 2008 meeting.  The Board directed the consultant to develop a scope of work, cost and timeline for the next phase of technical and environmental studies, with a focus on the Bunker and Stilwell sites, for presentation at the December 8, 2008 meeting.  Also the Board directed that its Legislative Committee should meet and develop a plan to confer with agencies that have jurisdiction over land or resources that would be needed to accomplish the project.  On December 8, 2008, the Board directed staff to solicit proposals for obtaining permits for and conducting hydrogeologic investigations to determine the potential for a supply of seawater from coastal wells for the 95-10 Project.  The scope, cost, and schedule for performing this work are being considered at the January 29, 2009 Board meeting.


Discussion/Background:  At its March 27, 2008 Special Workshop on water supply alternatives, the Board received: (1) an update from CAW on its Coastal Water Project (see Objective LS6 above); (2) information on the cost and timeline associated with completing a Final EIR on the 8,400 AFY MPWMD Seawater Desalination Project in the Sand City area; (3) a brief presentation by Water Standard Company on offshore ship-based desalination facilities; and (4) an overview by MPWMD staff on the major water supply alternatives evaluated to date.  The Board began initial discussions on which water supply alternatives should be pursued by the District in the near-term.  The Board directed staff to revive pursuit of the MPWMD desalination project, which had been tabled in 2004.  A new name, the “MPWMD 95-10 Project,” was suggested, as a key goal is compliance with SWRCB Order WR 95-10.  The Board also directed staff to develop a scope of work and cost estimate for engineering and environmental consultant contracts associated with the certifying a Final EIR for the Project, to be considered at the April 21, 2008 Board meeting.  Given uncertainties and disagreement about the feasibility of the project, the Board authorized retaining consultant to prepare Phase 1 Constraints Analysis report before committing significant funds and resources towards evaluation of the project in an EIR.  The overview of the MPWMD 95-10 Project (8,400 AFY desalination), initial discussion of setting priorities, and information for the April 21, 2008 meeting may be viewed at the MPWMD website at:;; and


Pursuant a contract authorized by the Board in April 2008, environmental and engineering consultants prepared and presented a Constraints Analysis for the MPWMD 95-10 Project (desalination) to the Board at its August 18, 2008 meeting.  This analysis identified significant impediments to the MPWMD desalination project feasibility, and ranked various seawater intake and brine disposal sites and technologies.  The Board directed that additional work be performed to address three specific policy issues related to the feasibility of implementing the project, with a report due in October 2008.  Further scope and cost refinement was directed for review at the December 8, 2008 meeting.  More information is available on the District website at:


Objective LS8:  Ensure the Remaining Entities Adopt an MOU for Participation in the Monterey Bay Regional Water Solutions Task Force to Evaluate Regional Water Supply Solutions


Action in October-December 2008:  MPWMD staff continues to coordinate with other entities on regional water supply solution opportunities in a variety of settings.  On May 19, 2008, the Board was advised by Director Potter that Monterey County had concerns with the MOU, and it would not be finalized.  The County is working on another agreement to replace the MOU, and is the lead on that effort.    

Discussion/Background:  District staff has coordinated with MRWPCA, Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA), Marina Coast Water District (MCWD) and other entities on regional water supply solution opportunities.  The District General Manager continues to participate in Monterey County-led meetings of a Managers Working Group comprised of water/wastewater districts and cities from the Monterey Peninsula and north Monterey County, including the northern Salinas Valley, regarding a potential governance structure for a regional water supply planning entity currently known as the Monterey Bay Regional Water Authority (MBRWA).  At its March 22, 2007 meeting, the District Board approved in concept a draft Memorandum of Understanding to Form the Monterey Bay Regional Water Solutions Task Force, and urged other entities to consider it as well and/or offer suggested changes.  The MOU proposes to form a committee comprised of a representative from the County Board of Supervisors, affected water district/agency governing boards, and city councils.  At its meeting of June 18, 2007, the MPWMD Board approved a revised Draft MOU to form the Task Force and a contribution of $5,000 towards technical analyses that the Task Force will require. Entities involved in the MBRWA met on July 23, 2007 and endorsed the Final Draft MOU, which was distributed to all member entities for final approval in Summer/Fall 2007.  Additional information may be found at the MPWMD website at:


At the February 13, 2008 Strategic Planning Session, Director Potter volunteered to ensure that all participating entities adopt the MOU by April 21, 2008.  However, he reported to the Board in May 2008 that Monterey County has identified concerns with the MOU as currently crafted, and a renewed effort in is progress to develop a new mutually acceptable agreement.  No timeline has been identified for this County effort. 


Objective LS9: Provide Technical Support or Guidance to MRWPCA for its Groundwater Replenishment Project in the Seaside Basin  


Action in October-December 2008:  MPWMD staff continues to meet and advise MRWPCA staff and consultants, and provides technical review of technical and planning documents prepared by MRWPCA, as requested.  This objective is ongoing.  In addition, The MPWMD and MRWPCA boards held a special joint meeting on October 29, 2008 aimed at providing additional structure and incentive for moving forward on groundwater replenishment.  At its November 17, 2008 meeting, the District Board established a three-member ad hoc Water Supply Planning committee to develop an MOU with MRWPCA regarding roles and responsibilities related to water supply planning in the Monterey Peninsula area.  Directors Brower, Doyle and Edwards were appointed to the committee, with Director Markey as an alternate.  The committee will report back to the full Board on January 29, 2009.


Discussion/Background:  The Groundwater Replenishment Project (GRP) entails potential injection or percolation of highly purified recycled water in to the Seaside Groundwater Basin.  It is modeled after a successful replenishment project in Orange County, California.  Studies are underway to determine whether a similar type of project is feasible in the Seaside Basin east of General Jim Moore Boulevard.   At its November 20, 2006 meeting, the MPWMD Board adopted Resolution No. 2006-05 expressing support for the MRWPCA replenishment efforts. The resolution text may be viewed at: Subsequently, MPWMD staff has participated in many GRP technical coordination meetings, and has provided technical assistance to the GRP consultant team.  At its September 26, 2008 meeting, the District Board determined it would hold a joint meeting with the MRWPCA Board in October 2008 to discuss partnership opportunities on a joint project.  The MPWMD and MRWPCA boards held a special joint meeting on October 29, 2008 aimed at providing additional structure and incentive for moving forward on this project.  At its November 17, 2008, the District Board established a three-member ad hoc Water Supply Planning committee to develop an MOU with MRWPCA regarding roles and responsibilities related to water supply planning in the Monterey Peninsula area.  More information is found at the District website at:





ASR entails diverting excess water flows (typically in Winter/Spring) from the Carmel Valley Alluvial Aquifer through existing CAW facilities and injecting the water into the Seaside Groundwater Basin for later recovery in dry periods.  The primary ASR water supply efforts at this time focus on: (1) continue testing of the existing full-scale Santa Margarita Test Injection Well (see “Other Water Supply Activities” below); and (2) pursue the permanent Phase 1 ASR Project at the Santa Margarita test site as well as future expanded ASR projects.   The primary goal of the MPWMD Phase 1 project is better management of existing water resources to help reduce current impacts to the Carmel River, especially during the dry season. The project is viewed as being complementary to other larger, long-term water augmentation projects that are currently being explored by various entities.  The project entails a maximum diversion of 2,426 AFY from the Carmel River for injection, a maximum extraction of 1,500 AFY from the ASR wells in the Seaside Basin, and an average yield of about 920 AFY.  The proposed operation of the Phase 1 ASR Project would result in reduced pumping of the Carmel River in the Summer/Fall and increased storage in the Seaside Basin, which are both considered to be environmentally beneficial. 


On March 23, 2006, the District issued the Draft Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Assessment (EIR/EA) on the MPWMD Phase 1 ASR Project, including information on a CAW temporary pipeline associated with the ASR Project.  On August 21, 2006, the MPWMD Board certified the Final EIR/EA, including responses to comments, adoption of formal Findings of Approval, and adoption of a Mitigation Monitoring Plan to address project impacts, with emphasis on comments submitted by California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS, also known as NOAA Fisheries).  Notably, both CDFG and NMFS had previously filed water rights protests (see ASR1 below), so the EIR/EA responses and refinements were made with the intent to also resolve water rights concerns. Additional information on the Final EIR/EA is available on the District website at: 


In Fall 2006, the certified EIR/EA was used a primary decision-making tool by several permitting entities. On September 19, 2006, the U.S. Army transmitted a signed Right-of-Entry permit, a key approval needed to construct the Phase 1 ASR Project.  The City of Seaside Planning Commission approved a Conditional Use Permit for the Phase 1 ASR well on October 11, 2006.  The Monterey County Health Department issued a well construction permit on December 13, 2006.  Construction on Well #2 began in December 2006 and the well itself was completed in February 2007.  However, a few set-backs were encountered and several ancillary facilities are needed to enable production at maximum capacity, as described below in Objective ASR3.


An extensive multi-year water rights effort resulted in the SWRCB issuing Orders WR 2007-0041-DWR and WR 2007-0042-DWR and Amended Permits 20808A and 20808B on November 30, 2007.  These Orders approve, in part, the District’s Petitions for Change to allow some of the water rights from the New Los Padres Dam and Reservoir Project in 1995 to be applied to the ASR Project. District staff continues to work on certain follow-up activities related to certain conditions of approval, such as working with CDFG regarding a stream alteration agreement or waiver equivalent. Please see Objective ASR5 below for more background on water rights.


Objective ASR1: Notify and Make a Presentation to the Watermaster, Informing Them of MPWMD’s Water Storage Rights


Action in October-December  2008: None.   This item has been requested to be scheduled at a future Watermaster board meeting.


Discussion and Background:  This objective relates to the fact that the Seaside Basin Watermaster is the Court-appointed entity with authority over storage and extraction rights of water in the Seaside Basin.  A legal opinion Memorandum on MPWMD and CAW’s right to store water injected into the Seaside Basin via the Phase 1 ASR project and potential future projects was prepared by General Counsel in 2007.  See “Other Water Supply Activities” below for more information on the Watermaster and associated District staff efforts.


Objective ASR2: Conduct a Dual-Well Injection Test and Report Results to the Board 


Action in October-December 2008:  MPWMD staff continued to work with MCWD and MCWRA to facilitate use of water from the MCWD system for roughly two weeks to test the ASR project, particularly the use of Well #1 and the new Well #2 together. This alternative source of supply is needed as dry conditions have not resulted in adequate Carmel River flow to date. By late December2008, nearly all engineering tasks had been completed, regulatory questions resolved, and logistical issues addressed.  Thus, testing began in early January 2009.  More information will be available in the next quarterly report. 


Discussion/Background:  Typically, the Phase 1 ASR well testing would be based on waters from the Carmel River, as allowed by the water rights permits issued by the SWRCB, which consider the needs of the Carmel River steelhead.  Lack of flow in the Carmel River or access to flow during certain periods, combined with the current operational constraints in the CAW system, has resulted in loss of the ability to test the Phase 1 ASR project at full capacity to date (i.e., Well #1 and #2 operating together).  Thus, District staff has been working with MCWD and MCWRA since 2007 to potentially use treated water from the MCWD distribution system to support a “dual-well” injection test for roughly two weeks at the ASR site.  As part of that effort, District staff has asked District General Counsel to clarify water storage rights and procedures contained in the Seaside Basin adjudication court decision, as they would potentially affect this proposal (see Objective ASR1).  District Counsel drafted an agreement for consideration by participating entities in order to enable this proposal to proceed, which would define objectives and responsibilities regarding the planned injection testing using MCWD system water.  The MCWD Board approved this agreement at its November 14, 2007 meeting, and the MPWMD Board approved the agreement at its December 10, 2007 meeting.   A revised version of a three-party agreement was submitted to MCWRA on March 10, 2008, and was signed by MCWRA on March 14, 2008. 


The actual dual-well test was originally scheduled for completion by September 30, 2008, subject to completion of several required actions.  If water from MCWD is to be used, prior to initiating the dual-well injection test (assuming 3,000 gallons per minute for up to three weeks), the following tasks must be completed: (1) make a temporary physical connection between the MCWD system and the ASR site; (2) complete the ASR Well #1 rehabilitation work and Well #2 development work that are underway; and (3) provide geochemical modeling results for review and approval by the RWQCB.  These tasks took longer than expected due to additional review requested by the Regional Water Quality Control Board,  a materials shortage associated with the motor for Well #2, MCWD information requests, and service interruptions associated with road grading and water pipeline installation for the General Jim Moore Boulevard realignment in the area of the test site.  


Objective ASR3: Achieve Consensus with CAW on Final MPWMD and CAW Phase 1 ASR Facilities Design, Including a Schedule


Action in October-December 2008:  District staff and consultants continued to meet CAW representatives to coordinate on future ASR well sites, and to continue design work on CAW infrastructure to ensure delivery of adequate water volume to the Phase 1 ASR site.  CAW determined that full Phase 1 injection not feasible until improved CAW pipeline from Carmel Valley is completed (December 2009).  A new pipeline into Monterey is needed for full recovery.  MPWMD continued geochemical analyses of injected and native aquifer waters to satisfy concerns expressed by the RWQCB.  The District also revised the mechanism for funding the ASR Project to a “pay-as-you” program.


Discussion/Background:  The Phase 1 ASR Project is comprised of the existing full-scale test well at the Santa Margarita site in addition to a new, second ASR well immediately adjacent to the site.  The two wells would be operated in tandem during the injection season.  The District began construction mobilization for the second well the week of December 4, 2006, as scheduled.  A temporary sound wall was constructed and drilling began in early January 2007.  The well was completed in early February 2007 and formal production testing subsequently occurred.  In early April, while preparations were being made for the final well inspection video, it was discovered that rock formation materials from the aquifer system had entered the well, indicating a continuing problem with the integrity of the well casing, apparently due to failure of pipe threads on the contractor’s drill bit that allowed the well development pump to drop to the bottom of the well.  Repair of the casing was completed in early May, and included a new bottom “swage” plate for the well, plus a concrete plug to ensure that the plate remains in place for the life of the well.  The District was not charged for the repair, which was conducted by the well drilling contractor, under supervision from the District’s construction management consultant.  A final acceptance video of the well construction was conducted in mid-May 2007.   The U.S. Army executed a Supplemental Agreement No. 1 to Department of Army Easement for Injection Test Well to enable the long-term Phase 1 ASR Project on September 21, 2007. 


In related action, beginning in October 2007, ASR Well #1 underwent planned remediation, and repair of the well components are more extensive than originally anticipated.  Also, unforeseen regulatory issues related to water quality and investigation of possible unexploded ordnance in the former Fort Ord Military Reservation have posed challenges that have delayed progress.


In coordination with CAW, District staff and consultants continue design of Phase 1 ASR support facilities such as a new well pump and motor in addition to electrical conduits, percolation basin, pipes and valving.  Bids for initial facilities construction were received on November 13, 2007 to install permanent underground plumbing and electrical piping for ASR Well #2.   The goal date for installation of these ASR well facilities was delayed to March 31, 2008, due in part to delays stemming from ordnance removal requirements and water quality concerns conveyed in Fall 2007.  District staff coordinated with the Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA), U.S. Army and Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) to help address these issues.  As of April 15, 2008, all of the underground utilities to the second ASR well have been installed. 


Regarding water quality issues, in late November 2007, MPWMD and CAW staff met with RWQCB Executive Officer Roger Briggs to discuss questions about disinfection byproducts in CAW treated potable water, the injection source water for the Phase 1 ASR Project.  These questions were raised due to concerns about ASR projects in other regions of the state, which triggered the Central Coast RWQCB’s need for consistent review of such projects.  During the meeting, District technical staff presented the results of rigorous and detailed ASR water quality testing analyses we have conducted over the past several years.  The consensus conclusion among representatives of all three entities present in the meeting was that the District’s ASR project source water conditions, Seaside Basin water use considerations, and aquifer characteristics are significantly different, and in large part not directly comparable, to the other ASR projects that raised the issue.  It is anticipated that RWQCB staff will consider the Phase 1 Seaside Basin ASR project separately, and not require additional permit-related requirements that would adversely affect the project’s viability. 


During the meeting Mr. Briggs assured District staff that their written waiver of discharge requirements, which was issued for the MPWMD Phase 1 Project in 2007, enables commencement of ASR operations in 2008.  RWQCB staff also indicated that they would be developing formal criteria and guidelines to ensure that all ASR and similar projects in the Central Coast Region are reviewed for consistency with RWQCB policy.  District staff intends to closely monitor this process to assist the RWQCB, and in order to ensure the long-term nature of RWQCB’s authorization or exemption determination for the Seaside Basin ASR operations. 


Regarding unexploded ordnance, in late 2007, the District was advised by FORA that there are additional required ordnance investigation activities that affect the Phase 1 ASR Project site that must be completed prior to property transfer to the City of Seaside.  In December 2007, the U.S. Army indicated it would assist with these activities, which commenced in January 2008.  Accordingly, the underground facilities installation work was conducted with this support being provided by the U.S. Army.


Regarding ASR Project financing, on June 18, 2007, the Board adopted the required resolutions for participation in the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA) Water/Wastewater pooled bond program to finance the District’s Phase 1 ASR Project.  Subsequently, a tax law attorney with the bond counsel firm that represents the CSCDA program determined that the ASR project is not eligible for regular tax-exempt financing because CAW, which is a private for-profit entity, will use water injected and recovered by the District-owned ASR wells in CAW’s distribution system.  With the assistance of a financial advisor, District staff also pursued a financing alternative that would involve issuance of tax-exempt “private activity” bonds.  However, due to two additional time-consuming and costly processes the District would have to complete in order to issue this type of debt, other alternatives were re-evaluated.  Staff determined that delays in completing the ASR project in 2007 meant that a significant portion of the required funding would not be required until Fiscal Year 2008-09, and that the project could be funded on a pay-as-you-go basis. That alternative was approved by the Board at its November 19, 2007 meeting.  On November 17, 2008, two actions were taken to re-authorize the 1.2% existing water use fee used to fund ASR facilities and related water supply projects, including passage of an Ordinance. More information is available on the District website at:


CAW Infrastructure:  In 2006, District staff worked closely with CAW to help obtain permits and other approvals to construct a temporary pipeline along the west side of General Jim Moore Boulevard.  This pipeline is needed for existing CAW system operational flexibility as well as to provide water to enable full capacity of the Phase 1 ASR Project.  CAW mobilized the temporary pipeline segments in December 2006, and the pipeline assembly was completed as of late March 2007. However, the District was advised by CAW consultants on April 18, 2007 that additional CAW distribution facilities are needed to support water diversion to both Phase 1 ASR wells in addition to existing CAW wells.  Since then, District and CAW staff and consultants continue to meet to address current and future demands on the CAW system from a hydraulic and engineering perspective.  A related task is to balance near-term operations and ASR needs with longer-term plans by CAW to construct the Coastal Water Project.  CAW submitted a basis-of-design report for needed facilities to the CPUC on November 30, 2007, but additional work is needed. 


Objective ASR4:  Achieve Consensus with CAW on the Yield and Schedule for the Next Phase of ASR Expansion


Action in October-December 2008:  As noted above, District staff continues to coordinate with CAW staff and consultants on necessary action and facilities to enable expanded ASR.    

Discussion/Background:  As described above, efforts to date have focused on the Phase 1 ASR Project.  However, meetings continue between District and CAW staff/consultants regarding future ASR phases.  District staff has provided computer simulations for CAW consultant, ASR Systems, for their investigation of the ASR element of the proposed Coastal Water Project and potential expanded ASR projects.   In mid-2007, District staff reviewed a CAW Technical Memorandum on a conceptual plan for expanded ASR.


Objective ASR5: Complete Negotiations with CAW for Joint Ownership of Water Rights to Obtain Future ASR and Other Water Rights Permits


Action in October-December 2008:  Initial discussions with CAW have taken place, but were second priority to the follow-up tasks associated with the SWRCB hearings on the CDO.  District and CAW counsel are tasked with assessing the ability of using existing permits associated with the formerly proposed New Los Padres Dam as the basis for future ASR water rights filings.  On June 30, 2008, the District submitted a petition to change its existing Permit #20808B to serve Phase 2 of the ASR Project.  This petition was noticed by the SWRCB in January 2009.


Discussion/Background:  In late March 2006, the District and CAW finalized a Management and Operations Agreement (MOA) regarding ASR testing, mutual aid, cost-sharing, water rights and other issues.  This agreement satisfied the State Department of Health Services requirement that the entities enter into a minimum 10-year agreement to operate the ASR facilities.  It also includes provisions for sharing rights for the Phase 1 ASR project and to negotiate additional agreements for acquiring and sharing ownership of water rights for present and future potable water supplies for the Monterey Peninsula area.  In 2007, efforts focused on securing water rights for the Phase 1 ASR Project; efforts in 2008 will focus on potential future expansion of ASR. 


Water rights for Phase 1 ASR are based on two Petitions for Change, originally submitted by the District to the SWRCB in October 2001 and revised in September 2003.  The SWRCB noticed the District’s Petitions on April 15, 2005.  The District prepared formal responses to NMFS and CDFG protests in mid-June and July 2005, respectively.  The District worked extensively with NOAA and CDFG through September 2007 to resolve water rights issues and also address CAW concerns (CAW and MPWMD had previously agreed to share water rights for the Phase 1 ASR Project).  A mutually satisfactory resolution of agency and CAW concerns finally occurred in mid-September 2007, just before the scheduled September 24, 2007 SWRCB hearing, which was cancelled when the protests by CDFG and NMFS were withdrawn.  This delay did not affect ASR water diversions in Water Year 2007 due to the critically dry streamflow conditions, which presented minimal opportunity to use the water rights permit, had it been issued.    


District staff continues to coordinate with CAW and SWRCB staff regarding water rights associated with the New Los Padres Reservoir Project (issued in 1995).   The reservoir water rights are relevant as they are the basis for the Petitions for Change described above.  The District transmitted a July 2006 letter requesting an extension of time for the reservoir permits to maintain the water rights associated with them.  Five objections were filed from entities including: CAW, CDFG, Carmel River Steelhead Association, Esselen Tribe of Monterey County and NMFS.  Copies of the objections were provided to the District in December 2006, and responses were provided.  The parties have not yet met to come to agreement on terms and conditions for approval to extend the permit; outstanding issues would become the subject of future SWRCB decisions. 



Though not formally a part of the Strategic Plan Water Supply objectives, the following water supply activities continued in the October-December 2008 period:


Continue Participation in CPUC Coastal Water Project Process, including Environmental Review and Department of Ratepayer Advocates Processes


Action in October-December 2008:  MPWMD staff continued to participate in monthly CPUC/DRA meetings regarding water supply alternatives, and has assisted CPUC staff and consultants upon request.


Discussion/Background:  District staff has met with and assisted CPUC staff and consultants since mid-2006 to help the CPUC better understand existing and future community needs, and how those needs may relate to the Coastal Water Project proposed by CAW as well as various potential alternatives.  The CPUC issued a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the CWP on September 29, 2006, which will include information on alternative desalination facilities to the plant proposed at Moss Landing.  Beginning in January 2007, the DRA began monthly meetings with a variety of agencies and public interest groups to review alternatives to the CWP to serve as a regional water supply project (or combination of projects) for northern Monterey County, including the Monterey Peninsula.  The MPWMD Board at its January 25, 2007 meeting directed District staff to participate in this process.  The MPWMD General Manager advises the Board of CPUC action in his weekly letters and monthly reviews.


The primary components of the CWP are a 10 million-gallon-per-day (mgd) desalination project at Moss Landing, a conveyance pipeline to the Peninsula (with associated structures), and ASR producing a minimum of 1,300 AFY. The NOP identified alternative desalination site locations, intake and discharge operations, desalinated water conveyance systems, and project sizes. The District submitted comments on the NOP in November 2006 (see January 2007 report for details). 


At its March 27, 2008 special workshop on water supply alternatives, the District Board heard a presentation on the “Sustainable Water Supply Program for Monterey County,” a conceptual regional plan that has been developed by the Regional Plenary Oversight Group (REPOG), sponsored by the CPUC/DRA.  The “Sustainable Water Supply Program for Monterey County” is also expected to be evaluated in the CPUC’s Draft EIR, now anticipated to be released in first quarter 2009.   The concept is evolving, and consists of incremental, multiple components, including: conservation, stormwater reuse, ASR, recycled water from the MRWPCA regional treatment plant for non-potable uses (agricultural and urban) and groundwater injection for potable use, brackish-water desalination project in North Marina area, diversion from the lower Salinas River ("rubber dam"), and pumping water from the Salinas Groundwater Basin.  The Marina Coast Water District and CAW co-funded needed engineering work to firm up the project description for the EIR, which was received in June 2008.  The District received  technical reports providing a description of a regional alternative in June and July 2008. 




Conduct ASR Operations in 2008   


Action in October-December 2008:   None.  Injection ended in March 2008 due to lack of streamflow.  ASR Well #1 was functional to enable diversion and injection of 60 AF at the ASR site in 2008.  MPWMD continued monitoring as part of its ongoing ASR monitoring program. 


Discussion/Background:  Since 1996, the District has evaluated the feasibility of ASR at greater levels of detail, including obtaining annual temporary water rights to divert water from the Carmel River Basin water and inject it into the Seaside Basin.  Between Water Years 1998 and 2007, the District injected approximately 1,875 AF of excess winter flow from the Carmel River Basin into the Seaside Basin at two sites:  the MPWMD Paso Robles Test Injection Well (located at Mission Memorial Park in Seaside) and the SMTIW #1 (now called ASR Well No. 1), located on the former Fort Ord military base, just east of General Jim Moore Boulevard near Eucalyptus Avenue.  During this period, 1,139 AF was recovered and delivered to the community via the CAW system as part of the test program. 


It is notable that Carmel River diversions in Water Year 2008 (October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008) are the first year where diversions are based on a long-term water rights permit rather than a temporary urgency permit.  With the 2008 diversions of 60 AF as of March 31, 2008, a total of 1,936 AF have been diverted and injected into the Seaside Basin since Water Year 1998.





Participate in Seaside Basin Management as Part of Watermaster Board and as Consultant to the Watermaster 


Action in October-December 2008:  District staff and consultants worked to carry out the many contractual tasks approved by the Watermaster in December 2007 for the Phase 2 Seaside Basin Monitoring and Management Program (SBMMP). 


Discussion/Background:  The adjudication of the Seaside Basin also affects water project activities.  Litigation filed by CAW on August 14, 2003 asserted CAW’s water rights and requested a Court adjudication of the Seaside Basin.   The District intervened and participated in all litigation activities. Judge Roger Randall rendered a Final Decision on March 27, 2006.  The Decision was amended by the Court on February 9, 2007.  The complex and lengthy Decision determined that the Seaside Basin is in overdraft; set a reduced “natural safe yield” and a near-term “operating yield” allowed to be produced by the parties as they work toward a “physical solution” (including ASR and wastewater reclamation) to eliminate the overdraft.  


A nine-member Watermaster Board was created to implement the Decision with continued oversight by the Court.  The MPWMD holds one seat on the Watermaster with two out of 13 votes.  MPWMD Director Judi Lehman was the MPWMD representative to the Watermaster Board until December 2008; the new Chairperson, Kristy Markey, is now the representative.  The Watermaster has held monthly meetings since its formal commencement on April 5, 2006.  District staff have also participated on the Watermaster Technical Committee and contributed significantly to the Seaside Basin Monitoring and Management Program Plan that was submitted to the Court in late May 2006.  District staff continued to contribute data and analysis as a Technical Committee member through 2006.  


On November 15, 2006, the Watermaster selected the MPWMD/MCWRA team to carry out the project management function for the Seaside Basin Monitoring and Management Program.  The firm of RBF Consulting was selected to implement the program (i.e., data collection, test well drilling, etc.).  At its April 18, 2007 special meeting, the Watermaster approved agreements with MPWMD, MCWRA and RBF Consulting Engineers for Phase 1 of technical work needed to complete and implement the SBMMP required by the Basin adjudication court decision.  The MPWMD agreement includes various SBMMP program management oversight tasks that are performed on an interim basis.  Some of these tasks have been taken over by the Watermaster’s  part-time Technical Program Manager, hired in June 2007, to facilitate completion  of SBMMP tasks, among other assigned duties.  The Watermaster also approved staff recommendations to increase its Administrative Fund Budget due to a higher-than-anticipated level of work in 2007 by its part-time Chief Executive Officer, as well as an adjustment in its SBMMP Budget to cover anticipated Phase 1 work by contract service providers and the Technical Program Manager.


In June 2007, District staff delivered several database products to the Watermaster and its consultants under the District’s Phase 1 contract on the Watermaster’s Seaside Basin Monitoring and Management Program (SBMMP).  This work is part of an effort to build a comprehensive groundwater resources database to support various Watermaster uses.  The next major element of work for the District under this contract included assistance in preparing analyses, based on data that have been collected by the District and others, of the current status of seawater intrusion potential and tracking in the Seaside Basin


Beginning in July 2007, District staff worked with the consulting team headed by RBF Consulting to gather various sources of well data to facilitate development of the Watermaster’s groundwater resources database.  District staff also assisted with the implementation of the seawater detection and tracking portion of the Seaside Basin Monitoring and Management Plan (SBMMP).


A specific budget for MPWMD professional services for Phase 2 of the SBMMP was approved by the Watermaster Technical Advisory Committee on November 14, 2007 and by the full Watermaster Board on December 5, 2007.  The MPWMD Board approved the agreement on December 10, 2007, which includes a budget of $83,800 for MPWMD staff and consultants to provide a variety of technical hydrologic services during the 2008 calendar year related to groundwater monitoring, prevention of seawater intrusion and action plan development. The work to be performed includes:

  • Conduct ongoing data entry / database maintenance for the Watermaster’s water resource database that was developed in 2007 for the Watermaster by RBF Consulting in consultation with the MPWMD,
  •  Provide an update to the monitor well network enhancement report that was prepared in 2007 for the Watermaster by MPWMD,
  • Continue to collect monthly water levels for selected monitor wells under the Watermaster monitor program,
  • Continue to collect quarterly water quality samples under the Watermaster monitor program,
  • Expand monitoring to include the four new coastal “sentinel” monitor wells that were installed for the Watermaster in 2007,
  • Participate with Watermaster consultants and TAC members in preparation of the Watermaster’s Basin Management and Action Plan,
  • Participate with Watermaster consultants and TAC members in preparation of the Watermaster’s updated seawater intrusion analysis,
  • Prepare an Interim Seawater Intrusion Response Plan, consistent with the Court Decision, in coordination with Watermaster consultants and TAC members. 


Integrated Regional Planning


Action in October-December 2008:  District staff continued to work with participating entities to implement the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP).


Discussion/Background:  District staff led the effort to obtain $497,000 of Proposition 50 grant funds to prepare an Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP) for the Monterey Peninsula, Carmel Bay, and South Monterey Bay Area.  Final approval of State Department of Water Resources (DWR) funding for preparation of the regional plan was made in early January 2006.  Since then, District staff has worked closely with local public and non-profit partners to complete the IRWMP, including retaining specialized consultants for this type of work.  A Draft Plan was completed in October 2006, and input was received from the partner entities. The revised Draft Plan was presented to the MPWMD Board at the July 16, 2007 meeting.  The revised Draft Plan has been circulated to an expanded list of agencies and organizations for broader public review and comment.  The Final Plan was presented to the Board, which adopted it at the November 19, 2007 meeting. Completion of the IRWMP will position the region to receive funds to implement specific projects, such as an expanded ASR Project.


Other Related Action 

The following table summarizes other related District efforts relevant to overall water supply: 





Seismic Retrofit and Sediment Removal from San Clemente Reservoir.

District staff participated fully in the EIR/EIS process on the seismic retrofit of San Clemente Dam, including submittal of extensive technical comments on the Draft EIR/EIS issued in April 2006. The Final EIR/EIS was certified by California Department of Resources (DWR) on December 31, 2007.  District staff also participates in technical meetings and provide technical expertise upon request. District staff efforts in 2008 continued to focus on concepts to address sedimentation and fish passage issues, including removal of the current dam in an effort led by the California Coastal Conservancy. 


Implement and Refine Water Distribution System (WDS) Rules and Regulations.

Ordinance No. 122 refining the Water Distribution System (WDS) process became effective on September 14, 2005.  The ordinance created a Pre-Application process for all new wells in the District along with an impact-based, multi-level permit process, based on the size, location and water use of affected parcels.  Staff and consultants continue to refine Implementation Guidelines to accompany the ordinance and improve public outreach, especially via the District website.  A total of 22 Applications and 39 Pre-Applications are currently at various stages in the permit process.  In October 2006, the Board confirmed the administrative direction in WDS Memo #3, which addresses environmental review and permit protocol for applications that include wells located in the Carmel Valley Alluvial Aquifer.  The memo directs more rigorous review based on letters received from NMFS and CDFG on the cumulative impacts on water extractions from the Carmel River.   For expanded well information, please refer to the new section on Water Wells at the District website homepage: 


Review CEQA Documents for Other Projects


The District logs incoming CEQA notices and comments on selected documents prepared by other agencies for substantive projects within the District boundary that could potentially affect water supply, water quality or environmental resources managed by the District.