CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION APPROVES CALIFORNIA AMERICAN WATER TEST SLANT WELL PERMIT AMMENDMENT
LONG BEACH, Calif. (October 6, 2015) – During their regular meeting held today, the California Coastal Commission approved an amendment to California American Water’s permits to operate a test slant well located on the Central Coast in Marina, California. The test well is designed to assess the feasibility of slant well technology or seawater desalination intake systems – in particular, for the company’s proposed Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project.
The original permits issued last November called for the company to turn off the well if nearby groundwater levels dropped by more than a foot and a half. California American Water ceased operation of the test well after such conditions were observed in June. Hydrologic data confirmed the groundwater level drop was not due to the test well’s influence, but other regional pumping in the area. The permit amendment will allow pumping to resume with conditions that take into consideration other regional groundwater trends.
“The amendment is relatively minor, but makes a big difference in terms of our ability to continue to collect data from the test slant well and advance our desalination project,” said California American Water President Rob MacLean. “Continued operation of the test well is extremely important to the customers we serve on the Monterey Peninsula as we are under a strict state deadline to find a replacement water source for the Carmel River. We’re grateful for the community support we’ve received and for the Commission’s recognition of the importance of this project to the local area’s water supply.”
Operation of the test well is expected to resume after California American Water conducts an interior video survey of the well, performs pump maintenance, and completes any additional well maintenance deemed necessary.
Slant wells are a form of subsurface intake technology that is preferred by permitting agencies, including the California State Water Resources Control Board and the California Coastal Commission for drawing ocean source water for desalination. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also require project proponents to pursue subsurface intakes unless they are shown to be infeasible.
For more information on this and other news and updates concerning the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project, please visit www.watersupplyproject.org.