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Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project

(Application A.12-04-019, filed April 23, 2012)

Welcome to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) website for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of the proposed California-American Water Company (CalAm) Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project (MPWSP or proposed project). An application for this project was submitted to the CPUC on April 23, 2012 (Application A.12-04-019 [pdf 9.46mb]). This website will be used to post all relevant public documents during the environmental review process and to announce any upcoming public meetings.

PLEASE NOTE: Other websites, including the previous website: http://www.cwp-eir.com, are no longer associated with the project, and active content posted on those websites is not relevant to the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project.


Files linked on this page are in Portable Document Format (PDF). To view them, you will need to download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader if it is not already installed on your PC. Note: For best results in displaying the largest files (see sizes shown in parentheses below for files larger than 3.0 MB), right-click the file's link, click "Save Target As" to download the file to a folder on your hard drive, then browse to that folder and double-click the downloaded file to open it in Acrobat.


Introduction and Project Purpose

The MPWSP would include a 9 million gallon per day (mgd) desalination plant and facility improvements to the existing Seaside Groundwater Basin ASR system to secure water supplies for the approximately 40,000 customers in CalAm's Monterey District service area. Click here for a project location map. As an alternative to the 9-mgd desalination plant, CalAm's application also includes a 5.4-mgd desalination plant coupled with a water purchase agreement for 3,500 afy of product water from the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency's proposed Groundwater Replenishment Project.

The primary purpose of the MPWSP is to replace existing water supplies that have been constrained by legal decisions affecting the Carmel River and Seaside Groundwater Basin water resources. SWRCB Order 95-10 requires CalAm to reduce surface water diversions from the Carmel River in excess of its legal entitlement of 3,376 acre-feet per year (afy), and SWRCB Order 2009-0060 ("Cease and Desist Order") requires CalAm to develop replacement supplies for the Monterey District service area by December 2016. In 2006, the Monterey County Superior Court adjudicated the Seaside Groundwater Basin, effectively reducing CalAm's yield from the Seaside Groundwater Basin from approximately 4,000 afy to 1,474 afy.

Background Information


In 2004, CalAm filed Application A.04-09-019 seeking a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the CPUC for the Coastal Water Project. The Coastal Water Project (CWP) was intended to replace existing Carmel River water supplies for the CalAm Monterey District service area that are constrained by the SWRCB decisions. In general, the previously proposed CWP involved the production of desalinated water supplies, increased yield from the Seaside Groundwater Basin ASR system, and additional storage and conveyance systems to move the replacement supplies to the existing CalAm distribution system. On January 30, 2009, the CPUC published a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) analyzing the environmental impacts of the CWP proposed project (also referred to as the Moss Landing Project), as well as the environmental impacts of two project alternatives-the North Marina Project and the Regional Project. The CPUC published the Coastal Water Project Final EIR (SCH No. 2006101004) in October 2009 and certified the EIR in December 2009 (Decision D.09-12-017). A year later, in Decision D.10-12-016, the CPUC approved implementation of the Regional Project alternative.

Subsequent to approval of the Regional Project, CalAm withdrew its support for the Regional Project in January 2012 (The CPUC subsequently closed the CWP proceeding in Decision D.12-07-008 [July 12, 2012]). As a result, in April 2012, CalAm submitted Application A.12-04-019 to the CPUC for the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project (MPWSP). The MPWSP is intended to secure replacement water supplies for the Monterey District associated with legal decisions affecting existing supplies from both the Carmel River and the Seaside Groundwater Basin (see discussion under the heading, Project Purpose, for more information). The MPWSP includes many of the same elements previously analyzed in the CWP EIR; however, key components, including the seawater intake system and desalination plant, have been relocated and/or modified under the current proposal.

Proposed Project

The proposed MPWSP would be comprised of the following facilities:

  • A seawater intake system consisting of eight 750-foot-long subsurface slant wells extending offshore into the Monterey Bay, and appurtenant facilities. The preferred site for the subsurface slant wells is a 376-acre coastal property located north of the city of Marina and immediately west of the CEMEX active mining area. New pipelines would convey the seawater (or "source water") from the slant wells to the MPWSP desalination plant.
  • A 9 million gallon per day desalination plant and appurtenant facilities on a 46-acre vacant parcel near Charles Benson Road, northwest of the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency's (MRWPCA) Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Monterey Regional Environmental Park. Facilities proposed at the MPWSP desalination plant include pretreatment, reverse osmosis, and post-treatment systems; chemical feed and storage facilities; a brine storage basin; and an administrative building. Brine produced during the desalination process would be conveyed to an existing MRWPCA ocean outfall and discharged to the Monterey Bay. Approximately 9,000 afy of potable water supplies would be produced by the proposed desalination facilities.
  • Up to 28 miles of desalinated water conveyance pipeline and mains, and associated facilities including pump stations, clearwells, and a terminal reservoir.
  • Improvements to the existing Seaside Groundwater Basin ASR system, including two additional injection/extraction wells, a pump station, and associated pipelines.

To view a project area map showing the preliminary project facilities, click here.

As an alternative to the 9-mgd desalination plant, CalAm's application also includes a 5.4-mgd desalination plant coupled with a water purchase agreement for 3,500 afy of product water from the MRWPCA's proposed Groundwater Replenishment Project.

CEQA Environmental Review

Pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15162, the CPUC has determined that a Subsequent EIR is the appropriate level of CEQA review for the MPWSP. The MPWSP EIR will provide a comprehensive description and evaluation of all proposed components (including the new proposed elements and previously analyzed components) as the "whole of the action." The MPWSP EIR may evaluate alternatives not previously considered in the previous CWP EIR. If it is determined through the scoping process that additional federal review is required, CPUC will coordinate with the appropriate agency to comply with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).

CEQA Process Schedule

(See ALJ Ruling dated January 23, 2015)
Public Release of Notice of Preparation October 10, 2012
EIR Scoping Period (30 days) October 10, 2012 - November 9, 2012
Public Scoping Meetings October 24, 2012 and October 25, 2012
Draft EIR Publication April 2015
Public and agency comment period Comments will be due 60 days following release of DEIR
Public hearings on Draft EIR 2nd Quarter 2015
Publication of Final EIR October 2015
CPUC Proposed Decision Issued December 2015
Proposed Decision on Commission Agenda February 2016

Notice of Preparation of EIR and Public Scoping Period

On October 10, 2012 the CPUC published a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an EIR. Click here to view the NOP. Hardcopies of the NOP are available by request via email at mpwsp-eir@esassoc.com. Reference copies of the NOP are available for public review at several Monterey County Library branches (Aromas, Pajaro, Prunedale, Castroville, Marina, Buena Vista, Carmel Valley, Gonzales, and Seaside) and the John Steinbeck, Cesar Chavez, El Gabilan, and CSU Monterey Bay Libraries.

During this public scoping period, the CPUC is soliciting comments on the scope of environmental issues as well as reasonable alternatives and mitigation measures that should be addressed in the Draft EIR. Written scoping comments can be submitted by mail, fax, or email during the 30-day scoping period, which closes at 5:00 p.m. on November 9, 2012. Please include a name, address, and telephone number of a contact person to receive future correspondence on this matter. Please send your comments to:

Andrew Barnsdale
California Public Utilities Commission
c/o Environmental Science Associates
550 Kearny Street, Suite 800
San Francisco, CA 94108
Fax: 415.896.0332
Or email to: mpwsp-eir@esassoc.com

Scoping Meetings

Public Scoping Meetings to provide opportunity for the public and regulatory agencies to ask questions and submit comments on the scope of the Draft EIR will be held on:

  • October 24, 2012: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Rancho Canada Golf Club, 4860 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel, CA 93923
  • October 25, 2012: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Oldemeyer Center, Blackhorse Room, 986 Hilby Avenue, Seaside, CA 93955
  • October 25, 2012: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Oldemeyer Center, Laguna Grande Hall, 986 Hilby Avenue, Seaside, CA 93955

A copy of the Scoping Meeting Presentation is available here.

Scoping Report

Pursuant to the Administrative Law Judge's "Directives To Applicant And Ruling On Motions Concerning Scope, Schedule And Official Notice," filed August 29, 2012, the CPUC has prepared a Scoping Report for the EIR. You may view the report and its appendicies by selecting a link below:

Scoping Report
  1. Notice of Preparation
  2. Notice of Preparation Postcard
  3. Newspaper Notices
  4. Project Website
  5. Scoping Meeting Attendance Sheets
  6. Scoping Meeting Presentation
  7. Scoping Meeting Flipcharts [pdf, 16.7mb]
  8. Scoping Period Written Comments [pdf, 23.4mb]

! New ! Coastal Erosion Technical Memo

CalAm proposes infrastructure associated with the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project that is located near or along the Monterey Bay coastline. The primary focus of this memo is to describe coastal processes that could be relevant to assessing the environmental effects of the Project and the viability of Project alternatives, and to identify potential damages to Project infrastructure from coastal erosion.

The Technical Memo is available here: Coastal Erosion TM

Data Requests

The EIR Team submits Data Requests to CalAm and other entities when it needs specific information to support EIR preparation.

There are no data requests submitted at this time.

For Additional Information

The CPUC, through its Environmental Review Team, manages environmental review of the project. To request additional information, or to be added to the mailing list, please contact the CPUC's Project Manager:

Project email:
Project fax: (415) 896-0332
Project mailing address:
Andrew Barnsdale
California Public Utilities Commission
c/o Environmental Science Associates
550 Kearny Street, Suite 800
San Francisco, CA 94108

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