State Water Resources Control Board Upholds Cease and Desist Order
The Monterey Peninsula is blessed in many ways. For decades water has been sourced from the Carmel River and the Seaside Aquifer for local needs. The Monterey Peninsula is not serviced by any state or federal water project that serves many other California communities. The SWRCB issued a "Cease and Desist" order many years ago to Cal Am. Basically it said that Cal Am had been over pumping the Carmel River impacting the health of the ecosystem and it needed to develop other sources of water. After many years have gone by without new sources of water being developed on the Monterey Peninsula, the SWRCB upheld its order after hearings in September and October 2010 were completed. The updated order allowed Cal Am to reduce its pumping over time, but never the less to start right away. Cal Am and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District decided to bring legal action to stop the SWRCB from enforcing its order. According to Cal Am and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District enforcing the SWRCB order will cause hardship on the Monterey Peninsula residents due to cutbacks in water allocation, the creation of a moritorium on new permits, and a possible stoppage of all outdoor watering!! Cal Am and the MPWMD want the SWRCB to hold off as a desalination proposal takes shape and is in place by 2017?? A ruling was made to maintain the SWRCB order and local agencies are working to mitigate the loss of approximately 10,000 acre feet from the Carmel River by 2017. The current strategy is to build a Desal Plant at a quoted cost of $300M and a cost per acre foot upwards of $3,000. There are conflict of interest issues, financing questions, etc. etc. etc. Stay tuned!