• Cal Am withdraws support for the Regional Desalination Project

    Unable to reach agreement with the Marina Coast Water District and Monterey County Water Resources Agency on how to address multiple challenges which have arisen, California American Water today announced this morning that it is withdrawing support for the Regional Water Project, the three-party agreement behind the Regional Water Project.
    “Desalination will be part of the Monterey Peninsula’s future water supply, but the Regional Desalination Project will not be the vehicle to deliver it,” said California American Water president Rob MacLean in a press release. “Recognizing the severity of the state’s cutback order, we must now move forward on an alternative water supply project as quickly as possible.”

    The desalination project has become bogged in legal issues, most recently the requirement that the necessary EIR be redone by the water district itself and not the California Public Utilities Commission, which had previously submitted an EIR.

    Cal Am and County officials have agreed to cooperate on finding an alternative water supply — or supplies — and Cal Am stated that they encourage Marina Coast Water District to participate in these talks.

    “Everyone is committed to finding a water supply solution for the Monterey Peninsula,” said Monterey County Supervisor Dave Potter. “With mediation ending and the Environmental Impact Report stalled, we have an opportunity to more broadly engage the public and fix the Peninsula’s water problem.”

    California American Water has requested that the California Public Utilities commission allow them to continue to work toward the design and construction of conveyance pipelines and water storage facilities. These portions of the agreement had previously been approved by the California Public Utilities commission and will be required for any of the water projects now under study.

    Eleven options were identified in a study commissioned by Cal Am and published by RBF Consulting last fall. They included desalination projects of various sizes, wastewater reclamation, filtration systems, groundwater recharge, and further conservation.
    It is unknown at this stage how this will affect the Peninsula mayors’ proposed JPA, which is wending its way through six city councils. Carmel has agreed to it, albeit with reservations, and Pacific Grove’s City Council turned it down as written. The JPA will be taken up again at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting Wed., Jan. 18.

     

    posted to Cedar Street Times on January 17, 2012

    Topics: Breaking News, Current Edition, Front PG News

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