Coastal Water Project

The State Water Resources Control Board issued a Cease and Desist Order requiring California American Water Company (CalAm) to find alternatives sources for water, instead of taking it from the Carmel River or Carmel Valley Aquifer with no legal right to that water. This order spurred agencies to develop a plan to balance the region’s water needs with a long standing water supply deficit.

LandWatch Position: Opposes the Project
Project Status: Abandoned

Quick Facts

  • Salt water intrusion is a long standing issue in the area.
  • Cal Am was limited in its water diversions from the Carmel River.
  • The Public Utilities Commission initiated a community-based planning process.
  • The California Public Utilities Commission was the lead agency.

Project Status

  • The Draft Environmental Impact Report Volume 1 (34.1M PDF) and Volume 2 (30.7M PDF) were released in January 2009.
  • The Final Environmental Impact Report was released and certified in October 2009. (49M PDF)
  • The Coastal Water Project was approved in November 2010.

This map shows the proposed and existing regional project facilities.

Full size Image (728K PDF file)

Credit: Cal Am Coastal Water Project, Final Environmental Impact Report (October 2009)

Resources at Risk

  • Growth Inducing Impacts
    There is incredible potential for growth-inducing impacts of the project and the potential impacts on North County’s water supply.
  • Inadequate Environmental Analysis
    The FEIR fails to adequately analyze and mitigate impacts to North County’s up-gradient aquifers caused by pumping approximately 22,000 to 25,000 acre-feet of brackish water from the 180-foot aquifer of the Salinas Basin.
  • Compliance with Environmental Laws
    There may be compliance issues as it relates to the California Environmental Quality Act and the potential for a takings claim if the Regional Plan is built.

LandWatch Involvement

LandWatch engages in the public process in a variety of ways. For this project, here is a list of our engagement strategies.

  • Letter: Comments on the Final Environmental Impact Report (41K PDF file)
    After reviewing the EIR, LandWatch submitted comments on the EIR including its concerns on growth inducement, water demand, impacts to the North County region, sea water intrusion, aquifers, and more. (02.05.10)

Partner Involvement

Sometimes our partners engage as well and we capture their input into the process. For this project, below are the relevant items.

Monterey County
Issues & Actions