To provide a substitute water supply to its customers on the Monterey Peninsula and comply with orders to cease excess withdrawals from its primary water sources, California American Water Company (Cal-Am) has proposed a three-component water project. Component #1, which would be owned and operated by Cal-Am, is a seawater desalination facility that would use subsurface intakes and be sized to create upwards of 9,000 acre-feet of fresh water per year. Component #2 is a recycled water/groundwater replenishment project, which would be owned and operated by the Monterey Water Pollution Control Agency, and would be sized at 3,500 acre-feet per year. Component #3 is the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District's aquifer storage and recovery project, which diverts winter flows from the Carmel River and stores them in the groundwater basin.
The Monterey Chapter is participating in the California Public Utilities Commission proceeding that will determine whether or not Cal-Am will be allowed to pursue this project. The proceeding is currently underway and is expected to finish in February 2013.