Fort Ord Area Issues & Actions:
Marina Coast Water District
Marina Coast Water District (MCWD) is proposing to annex the entire Fort Ord area. The project would amend MCWD’s Sphere of Influence and expand its Service Area to include all of the former Fort Ord including lands within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army. MCWD currently provides service to this area as outlined in the 1998 Water/Wastewater Facilities Agreement between FORA and MCWD which expires when FORA sunsets in 2014. The proposed project would allow water and wastewater service to continue beyond the FORA expiration and provide customers the right to vote for MCWD Board of Directors.
LandWatch Position: Filed a Lawsuit
Project Status: Proposed Increased Pumping
The project applicant is Marina Coast Water District.
The project would expand the Districts’ geography to include the entire Fort Ord area.
The Marina Coast Water District is the lead agency.
This project is governed by Water/Wastewater Facilities District.
The Board continues to receive updates on this proposal, but no decision has been made yet.
The comment period was in November and December 2011.
The Negative Declaration (4M PDF file) was completed in 2011.
Project Location Map
This map shows the Marina Coast Water District boundaries
Resources At Risk
Inconsistent with Planning Documents
The document fails to remain consistent with approved General Plans and asserts it is necessary to expand the boundaries of the district to accommodate future growth and yet at the same time that future development needs to find water elsewhere.
Poor Evaluation of Scenarios
The document does not adequately review impacts from future developments or the status of water supply projects. Without this information it is difficult to know what the impacts of this project will be.
Lack of Review of Indirect Impacts
The California Environmental Quality Act requires review of direct and indirect impacts and this document does not do that. Therefore it should be recirculated.
Amicus Brief: LandWatch Supports District’s Lawsuit (62K PDF file)
LandWatch filed and served an amicus letter in support of the (refiled) petitions for California Supreme Court review of the CPUC actions certifying the desal EIR and granting Cal-Am permission to proceed with the desal project. (02.05.19)
Settlement: LandWatch Agrees to Terms on Lawsuit (4.5M PDF file)
A settlement agreement between LandWatch, Keep Fort Ord Wild, and the Marina Coast Water District caps the number of residential units allowed to be built on the former Fort Ord lands served by the District. The cap is 6,160 units and many developers will now race to get a portion of that number before the cap is reached. (09.19.18)
- Letter: LandWatch Comments on Water Supply Assessment (57K PDF file)
LandWatch challenges the Marina Coast Water District's faulty water supply assessment for Campus Town, since there is no reliable water supply. The Assessment wrongly assumes 6,600 acre-feet of water per year is available for use in the Ord Community and fails to acknowledge the serious adverse impacts to the deep aquifer with the additional pumping. (06.15.18)
Lawsuit: LandWatch (142K PDF file) and Keep Fort Ord Wild (1.5M PDF file) File Suit
The lawsuits challenge the Marina Coast Water District’s declaration that the proposed expansion of its service areas would have no environmental impact. The Marina Coast Water District has proposed annexation of currently undeveloped Fort Ord areas, which would facilitate increased pumping of the already over-drafted Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin to provide water for projected development on Fort Ord. Increased pumping would aggravate the ongoing seawater intrusion, overdraft, and depletion of the affected aquifers. (03.09.18)
Letter: LandWatch Submits Comments (399K PDF file)
LandWatch's submits addition comments regarding the Negative Declaration & Initial Study for Ord Community Sphere of Influence Amendment and Annexation for the Marine Coast Water District. (02.19.18)
Letter: LandWatch Submits Comments (735K PDF file)
LandWatch’s submits comments and supporting documents (13.9M PDF file) regarding the Negative Declaration & Initial Study for Ord Community Sphere of Influence Amendment and Annexation for the Marine Coast Water District. (01.18.18)
Letter: LandWatch Monterey County Letter on MCWD Annexation (147K PDF file)
LandWatch outlines its concerns for expanding the Districts sphere of influence. Key concerns include: inadequate project description, project segmenting, inadequate environmental impact analysis. (11.17.11)
Other Water District Activities
LandWatch Questions Marina Coast Water District and the County of Monterey about a Proposed Agreement to Accept Millions in Reimbursements from California American Water for Work on the Regional Project
On Wednesday, February 24th, the Marina Coast Water District approved an agreement with California American Water (Cal-Am) to accept reimbursement for work to be performed by the District and Monterey County Water Resources Agency through the end of the year. Up to $4.3 million would be provided to these agencies which would repay the loan. However, under the agreement, Cal-Am could forgive the loan. The agreement, only posted 24 hours for the public to review, may violate the California Environmental Quality Act and Local Agency Formation Commission requirements. Cal-Am ratepayers on the Peninsula could also end up paying for a project that would benefit non-Cal-Am customers. The same agreement was approved by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors in closed session on Friday, February 26th. (03.02.10)
The letter below was submitted to Marina Coast Water District.
Letter: Comments to the Marina Coastal Water District Board (29K PDF file)
LandWatch writes of its concerns about the legality to accept reimbursement for work performed by the District and Monterey County Water Resources Agency. (02.24.10)
Settlement Caps Residential Units
A settlement agreement between LandWatch, Keep Fort Ord Wild, and the Marina Coast Water District caps the number of residential units allowed to be built on the former Fort Ord lands served by the District. The cap is 6,160 units and many developers will now race to get a portion of that number before the cap is reached. (10.11.18)
Campus Town Exceeds Water Allocations
Seaside’s proposed development (Campus Town) is expected to use 487 acre feet of water, but only 186 acre feet can be allocated to it. And, the Marina Coast Water District just approved the water supply assessment. Without a reliable and sustainable water source, the project can’t be built. (06.21.18)
Two Lawsuits Filed Against Water District
After being designated as the water and wastewater provider for the Fort Ord lands, the Marina Coast Water District, is now being challenged by LandWatch and Keep Fort Ord Wild over its unanalyzed impacts to annexation of lands in the Fort Ord. (03.22.18)
Water District Back in Court Again
LandWatch and Keep Fort Ord Wild have both filed suit against the Marina Coast Water District over its planned annexation of Fort Ord lands—annexation without any environmental review. (03.22.18)
Marina’s Deep Water Aquifer Trouble
Read this important McWeekly story about mining Marina’s deep water aquifer. “That means if the entire 1,784 acres [of Armstrong Ranch] were converted to strawberries, it would require in excess of 4,000 acre-feet of water annually – more than Marina Coast’s current annual production.” (1.11.18)
Water Supply Not Replenishing in Marina Coast
The aquifer below Marina holds water that is tens of thousands of years old. The aquifer has been tapped for the area and thousands of new homes will depend on this deep aquifer for its daily water use. Unfortunately, salt water intrusion may change that. (12.01.16)