includes Cal Am Co., Monterey County and other proposals

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10-07-07 - Desalination on the Monterey Peninsula: should it be public or private?

Both points of view are presented in the Monterey County Herald's October 7, 2007 Commentary: , "The desalination solution" on their web site, (an external link).
Plant should be publicly owned
Cal Am open to regional approach

7-20-07 - Pebble Beach Co. may have used the final 300 acre-feet of Cal Am potable water to flush salts from the roots of the grasses of the greens.

The Carmel Area Wastewater District stores recycled water with higher levels of sodium in the Forest Lake reservoir. By April, 2008 the district expects to complete a reverse osmosis (desal) system that should end use of Cal Am water on Pebble Beach golf courses.

• For more details CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's JuLY 20, 2007 story, "Golf links may bid goodbye to Cal Am" on their web site, (an external link).

6-30-07 - Experimental desal plant approved by county judge will begin generating fresh water and discharging chemicals.

Also, Coastal Commission approved David Potter's motion 4-3 to delete a county desalination ordinance from commission jurisdiction.

• For more details CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's June 30, 2007 story, "Work begins on desal plant" on their web site, (an external link).

6-15-07 - Monterey County judge clears Cal Am for desal plant.

Also on Friday morning, the Coastal Commission voted 4-3 to accept an amendment by David Potter to delete a finding that the county desalination plant ordinance is part of the Local Coastal Program and subject to the commission's jurisdiction.

  • For more details CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's June 16, 2007 story, "Cal Am cleared for desal plant" on their web site, (an external link).

4-30-07 - News about Desalination plans for Moss Landing is provided in a new Newsletter published by Friends of Locally Owned Water (FLOW) and Citizens for Public Water (CPW). It explains how Pajaro/Sunny Mesa desalination plant is positioned to solve Monterey Peninsula water shortage problems.

  • Visit for more information or contact Jim Graham 831-234-4337 and ask for a copy of the new six page Newsletter "Desalination News".

3-21-07 - Supervisors postponed decision on controversial ordinace concerning public ownership of desalination plants.

  • To learn more CLICK here to read the Monterey County Herald's March 21 story, "Desalination debate rages on" on their website, (external link).

7-25-06 - PUC public hearings begin on CAL AM WATER CO.'s proposed DESAL PLANT. The water company wants PUC approval of a plan to establish a series of surcharges to customers to pay for the pre-construction costs and for the cost of constructing the desal plant.

  • For more details CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's July 25, 2006 story, "Eight days of Cal Am hearings" on their web site, (an external link).

7-1-06 - A new report on the three proposed DESAL PLANTS was recently presented by Bookman-Edmonston/GEL, a consulting firm hired by the Monterey Peninsula Water District. The report covers: Cal-AM's Coastal Water Project, Pajaro/Sunny Mesa Community Services District's Monterey Bay Regional Seawater Desalination Project, and the Sand City Desalination Project. The District Directors had questions and comments but took no action.

5-03-06 - Coastal Commissioners will decide, during their June 14-16th public hearings in Santa Rosa, whether to take the pending appeal or not for the Pajaro-Sunny Mesa Community Services District's proposed MOSS LANDING PILOT DESALINATION PLANT.

Appellants Sara Wan, a Coastal commissioner, and the Surfrider Foundation of San Clemente contend that the proposed pilot desalination plant does not conform to the County Local Coastal program for Moss Landing, which prohibits discharge of contaminants into the county's water.

  • For more information CLICK here to read the Monterey County Herald's May 3, 2006 story, "Desal Decision Due" on their web site, (an external link).

12-13-05 - Pajaro/Sunny Mesa Community Services District's proposed Desal Pilot plant approved by citizens' land use group. The pilot plant is to be located off Hwy 1 near the Duke energy power plant, the intended site of Cal-Am Water Co.'s competing proposed desal pilot plant.

9-09-05 - MPWMD Board members want a PUBLIC WORKSHOP on proposed desal plants.

The Thursday MPWMD workshop revealed that a secret draft agreement on a proposed "regional governance board" for a desal plant has been circulated to various county groups.

7-29-05 - PAJARO-SUNY MESA COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT (North Monterey County) and POSEIDON RESOURCES CORP. have reached an agreement on building a DESALINATION PLANT IN MOSS LANDING. Poseidon, headquartered in Stamford Conn., is the country's largest developer of desalination plants.

The Poseidon Corp. owns and operates five desal plants in Mexico and is developing major plants in Huntington Beach and Carlsbad. This announcement was a surprise to Cal Am Water Co. officials. They have proposed a desal plant on Duke Energy property.

  • For more information, CLICK here to read the July 29, 2005 story in the Carmel Pine Cone, "Contract signed to build desal plant" on their web site, (external link).

  • For additional information, CLICK here to read the July 28, 2005 story in the Monterey County Herald', "Deal reached on desal plant" on their web site, (external link).

7-16-05 - Cal Am Water Co. submitted their environmental study for a Desal Plant in Moss Landing to the PC. It is called a "Proponent's Environmental Assessment" and contains numerous options for providing the Peninsula with water from a desal plant.

The first of several town meetings to gather public reaction to the PEA will be held Monday, July 18, 2005 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Elk's Lodge, 150 Mar Vista Drive, Monterey.

  • For additional information on the proposed Moss Landing Desal Plant and Supervisor Lou Calcagno's conflict of interest, CLICK here to read the July 16, 2005 story in the Monterey County Herald, "Calcagno's desalination conflict" on their web site, (external link).

5-15-05 - The Office of Ratepayer Advocates and others challenge Cal Am's lobbying costs of over $ 1 million to promote their desal project.

5-01-05 -Cal Am Water Co. challenges Monterey County ordinance requiring public ownership of a desalination plant. According to the Water Company's project manager, "the county legislation conflicts with state law in a number of ways."
  • For more information CLICK here to read the Monterey County Herald's May 1, 2005 story, "Cal Am sees conflict in desal rule" on their web site, (external link).

4-08-05 - Publicly owned regional water project concept approved by a consortium of city governments, water agencies and the County Board of Supervisors. This concept would include the use of County general funds to finance planning and design costs for the project, which would almost certainly be anchored by a Desalination Plant in Moss Landing.
  • For more details CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's April 8, 2005 story, "Water project moves ahead" on their web site, (external link).

3-22-05 - Updates on various Desalination projects presented to the Monterey Peninsula Water Board directors but no action by the Board.

The Board discussed Orange County's recycling project which includes injecting highly-treated wastewater into the groundwater aquifer for later extraction for drinking water. Cal Am's "Coastal Water Project" is on track. Their applications are expected to be filed withthe PC in June. Pajaro-Sunny Mesa's project is also moving forward.

2-22-05 - Curtis Weeks, Monterey County Water Resources Agency General Manager, urged the City Mayors to decide how the proposed Desalination Plant will be governed . . . and who will build and operate it.

Steve Leoard, Cal Am's General Manager, said his company is back on track to place a pilot desalination plant at Moss Landing. He also agreed there is a sense of urgency for a governmental model to be established.

  • For more details CLICK HERE to read the Herald's February 21, 2005 story, "Speedy desalination solution urged" on their website, (external link).

1-04-05 - Surveys were taken on proposed Desalination Plants by Pajaro/Sunny Mesa Community Services District, and by a polling company for CalAm Water Company. Both claim positive public response for their plant at Moss Landing.

12-1-04 - County Supervisors agreed with a recommendation from Curtis Weeks, general manager of the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, and now plan to work on a collaborative Desalination Project with numerous cities and agencies to provide future fresh water for North County, the Peninsula and Salinas.

11-11-04 - County Water Resources Agency board talking about forming an alliance with city leaders throughout the county to build a desalination project.

Curtis Weeks, executive for the County Water Agency, said a regional approach, creating one large project that could serve the Monterey Peninsula, the Salinas Valley and North County, could project more water cheaper and could resolve the various supply and quality problems.

10-27-04 - County to lead a regional collaboration on a new Desalination Plant. On Tuesday, October 26, the Supervisors voted to allow county water officials more time to obtain regional input.

Curtis Weeks, County Water Resources Agency General Manager, is hoping to schedule a public workshop before the water agency's ad hoc committee meeting on November 8.

It is expected that this matter will be heard by a joint agency committee and the Board of Supervisors in early November.

10-22-04 - County Supervisors to consider "multi-jurisdictional collaboration" on new Desalination Plant. Curtis Weeks, General Manager of the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, said "...that any desalination plant needs to be publicly owned and operated as a collaboration between various agencies and jurisdictions."

This matter will be considered next Tuesday, October 26, by the Board of Supervisors. Steve Leonard, General Manager of Cal Am Water Co. said they would continue to pursue the desalination project with the County as a partner with the water company. The Pajaro-Sunny Mesa Community Services District is also working on plans for a plant at Moss Landing to serve the needs of its North Count customers.

9-01-04 - Cal Am Water Co. and County Water Resources Agency established future public meeting dates on their "Coastal Water Project" covering a proposed Moss Landing desalination plant.

Future public meetings on this "Coastal Water Project" will be held on:

  • Wednesday, September 8, 2004. 6:30 pm at the Sally Griffin Senior Center in Pacific Grove
  • Monday, September 13, 2004, 6:30 pm at the Crossroads Community Room in Carmel
  • Thursday, September 16, 2004, 6:30 pm at the Monterey Youth Center

Additional public meetings will be scheduled later at Moss Landing, Prunedale and Carmel Valley.

Visit their "Coastal Water Project" website, (external link) for additional information.

For information on other proposed Desalination Projects, call the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District Office, 831-658-5600 or visit their website, (external link)

7-28-04 - Three Desalination Project proposals to be presented to Water District Board on Thursday, 7-29-04 at 7:00 PM at Monterey City Council Chambers.

1. Cal-Am Water Co. proposes a plant in the area of the Duke Energy plant at Moss Landing.

2. Nader Agha and the Pajaro-Sunny Mesa Community Services District will present details of their plans for a plant at the site of the old National Refractories plant at Moss Landing.

3. A smaller desal plant in Sand City has been pursued by the MPWMD for some time. It will also be discussed at this meeting.

7-2-04 - Cal-Am planning for desal plant in Moss Landing in less than a year, while discussing options regarding a competing desal plant on the old National Refractories property.

6-20-04 - Monterey Peninsula Water Management District could team up with a North County government agency on proposed desalination plant. Representatives from the Pajaro-Sunny Mesa Community Services District have met with MPWMD representatives to discuss building a large seawater desalination plant in Moss Landing.

June 16, 2004 - Desal Pilot Plant proposed at Moss Landing by Monterey County, Cal-Am Water Co. and Duke Energy. The group plans for a small plant on Duke property that will produce 60,000 gallons of desalted water a day next year. These plans compete with the Pajaro-Sunny Mesa Water District proposal for another desal plant next door to Duke.

March 17, 2004 - Monterey County officials hailed an agreement Tuesday that could result in a desalination plant pumping out fresh water for large sections of the county, but that plan could be in competition with a small North County water district with big desalination plans of its own.

March 16, 2004 - Monterey County is trying to partner with Cal-Am Water Co. to develop a desalination plant in Moss Landing, a move that could signal a larger plant serving areas beyond the Peninsula.

4/04/04 - Water board learns Sand City desal plant inadequate but looks toward Moss Landing partnership.

November 24, 2003 - MPWMD Autumn 2003 Newsletter provides new information on Moss Landing and Sand City proposed Desalination Plants and other general Water Board matters. See Page 1 of the Newsletter (below).

You may call the District office at (831) 658-5600 to obtain a copy of this Newsletter.

Click on each one of the four separate pages (below) of the MPWMD Autumn 2003 Newsletter in PDF format (on this website)

Page 1 (24 Kb)
Page 2 (24 Kb)
Page 3 (132 Kb)
Page 4 (72 Kb)

Or CLICK for more information (external link)

November 24, 2003 - Surge of Desalination Planning Raises New Questions MPWMD Autumn 2003 Newsletter provides new information on Moss Landing and Sand City proposed Desalination Plants.

There are now nine seawater desalination plants along the California coast, with plans in various stages for building 18 more. That surge of interest is generally a result of development far outpacing the natural water resources.

That trend prompted a report by the California Coastal Commission in October that outlined some recent concerns government needs to consider.

Privately owned, multinational companies have proposed some of the largest desalination plants, the report explains. Those proposals are seeking a major shift in public policy --that a public trust resource like water can be privatized and turned into a commodity. They also involve international trade agreements that may make it difficult for local and state governments to regulate them. Conditions in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the General Agreement on Trade & Tariffs (GATT) have created complex agreements that potentially conflict with state and local regulatory authority.

Those are issues that will have to be dealt with in Monterey County because 6 of the 18 planned desalination plants would be here, including the large one that German-owned Cal-Am envisions in Moss Landing, about 20 miles north of Cal-Am's Monterey Peninsula service area.

You may call the District office at (831) 658-5600 to obtain a copy of this Newsletter.

Or click on for more information (external link)

November 18, 2003 - Concerns over desal expressed - More than 70 Moss Landing residents turned out Monday night to tell the California-American Water Co. that they want a share of the water from the desalination plant proposed for their little city but that they also are concerned about environmental impacts.

"The best place to put a desalination facility on the Central Coast," said Steve Leonard, local manager for Cal-Am, "is Moss Landing."

Others wondered why Cal-Am wasn't more interested in a smaller plant in Sand City, the option favored by the Monterey Water Management District. Others said they were concerned about a desalination plant's impact on marine life. . . . . . .


October 23, 2003 - Monterey County Supervisors have appointed a committee to work with Cal-Am on development of a proposed desalination plant in Moss Landing in order to determine the level of commitment to complete their plan.

Read the October 23, 2003 edition of the Monterey Herald, "County forms desalination group" for more details.

October 8, 2003 - Monterey Peninsula Water Management District seeks Coastal Commission approval to drill beach-side wells to test the feasibility of a Sand City Desalination plant proposed by the District.

The MPWMD's proposal would drill wells 12-inches in diameter and 100-150 feet deep at the Seaside Beach parking lot near Tioga Street in Sand City and on two sites on the Fort Ord dunes.

Read the October 8, 2003 edition of the Monterey Herald story, "Desalination test wells sought" for more details.

September 5, 2003 - PUC will develop Moss Landing Desalination Plant

The Public Utilities Commissioners voted unanimously on Thursday, September 4, 2003 to take the lead role in developing and evaluating plans for a desalination plant in Moss Landing. They expect to cooperate with local agencies (Monterey Peninsula Management District and others) in solving the Peninsula's water woes.

For details, read the entire article in the Spetember 5, 2003 Monterey Herald and Carmel Pine Cone.

Click HERE to read about other WATER ISSUE\S ON THE PENINSULA on this website

  August 27, 2003 -- Desal panel gets an earful - Monterey County Herald

In the midst of a two-day meeting in Monterey, California Desalination Task Force members held a public session to hear local perspectives on the general issues surrounding the conversion of seawater to sink water. What they got was a whole lot of talk about the local water board, the Carmel River and the proposal to build a desalination plant in Moss Landing.

The 25-member committee is holding the fourth of five meetings around the state to examine the desalination issue. At the end of its tour it will compile a report to be submitted to the State Assembly. The committee does not have any power over specific water projects, although members will be touring Elkhorn Slough this morning.

Former State Assemblyman Fred Keeley, now the executive director of the Planning and Conservation League and Foundation, told the task force that desalination must be used only to replace existing, but overtaxed, sources of water, like the Carmel River. Using desalination plants to provide new water for growth would be a bad idea, Keeley said.

"It is neither good or bad. It is a tool to be used in the pursuit of something," Keeley said. "In this community, it's about Cal-Am, and Moss Landing. The issue that really drives the debate is whether it is going to be replacement water or new water." . . . . .


  August 22, 2003 -- PUC delays desal decision - Monterey County Herald


    The state Public Utilities Commission has delayed until September 4, a decision on who woud control the development of a possible desalination plant at Moss Landing, said Sheri Inouye, a commission spokeswoman.

    An administrative law judge for the commission ruled in July that the body should control development of a roposed California-American Water Company plant.

August 14, 2003 - California American Water Files for Adjudication of Seaside Basin

California American Water today filed a request that the Monterey County Superior Court clarify water user rights in an underground aquifer known as the Seaside Basin.

In the summer of 2002, MPWMD announced it would implement new ordinances to regulate groundwater pumping from the Seaside Basin in an effort to protect the Basin. This announcement concerned California American Water because it suggested the annual safe yield figures described in prior MPWMD studies of the Basin were incorrect. . . .

July 21, 2003 -- County should stay involved in desal plant - Monterey County Herald


    The state Public Utilities Commission appears poised to take charge of leading the preparation of the environmental impct study for the proposed desalination plant at Moss Landing, and Monterey County needs to ensure that it's at the table.

    The interests of a community located a long way from Sacramento sometimes get squashed. . . . . . .


 July 18, 2003 -- State seeks to control desalination project - PUC suggested as lead agency over Moss Landing plant - Monterey County Herald

    The state Public Utilities Commission, not local elected officials, would control development of a proposed Moss Landing desalination plant if the commission adopts a ruling made this week by one of its administrative law judges.

    The judge ruled that the state commission should be the lead agency overseeing approval of the California-American Water Co. plant.

    The private water company had pressed for the PUC to handle the project rather than the Monterey County Board of Supervisors or the Monterey Peninsula Water District, which also wanted lead agency status. . . . . . . . .


Comments and Letters to the Editor - Monterey County Herald

Click on the title to read the whole article or letter

  February 11, 2003 -- California-American Water Company Asks CPUC to Approve Coastal Water Project ("Plan B") - Shifts Priority Away from New Dam on Carmel River

California-American Water Company (Cal-Am) today announced it has amended its application to build a dam on the Carmel River, seeking instead a new long-term water supply project including desalination and underground water storage.

 March 18, 2003 -Joint Management Plan Review - Monterey Bay Issues: Water Quality - Desalination - Joint Management Project Review document


October 10, 1997 - Monterey Peninsula Water Management District Scoping Report - COMMENTS ON ALTERNATIVES (including Plan B)