Monterey One Water Pure Water Recycling Project

The Pure Water Project is an opportunity recycle Monterey County water—creating a new source of potable water for the region. Using waste water and storm water, after being treated, it will recharge the groundwater basin.

LandWatch Position: Supported the Project
Project Status: Under Construction

LandWatch Involvement

  • Op-Ed: Michael DeLapa Writes About Wasted Funds
    After California American Water (CalAm) was ordered by the state to stop its illegal overpumping of the Carmel River, it sought options—in fact, the most expensive option it could—a desalination plant. CalAm is in it for the money and the expansion of the Pure Water facility would mean less profit. So, the political campaign to sabotage the expansion efforts began. (05.05.20)
  • Letter: LandWatch Opposes Comment Period Extension (220K PDF)
    LandWatch opposes the requests for an extension of the public review period for the Pure Water Monterey Expansion draft SEIR. The public review period November 7 – December 23, 2019 is ample. This is a Subsequent EIR for a previously approved project that has already undergone a full EIR process. (12.16.19)
  • Delivery from Project to Start in January
    Essential 14-day water purification facility water quality tests for the Pure Water Monterey project started this week and as of early January, potable water delivery for injection into the Seaside basin will occur too.  (12.16.19)
  • OpEd: LandWatch Opposes Desal, Supports Recycled Water
    LandWatch ED Mike DeLapa pens this OpEd describing the many years of proceedings, false starts, and delays, and how the California Public Utilities Commission is now finally considering a Proposed Decision that would permit California American Water to build a 6.4 million gallons per day desalination facility. LandWatch opposes the Proposed Decision because it is the costliest and riskiest water supply alternative. (09.07.18)
  • Letter: LandWatch Affirms Support for Pure Water Project (139K PDF)
    LandWatch Monterey County urges the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency to approve the Pure Water Monterey project. The Pure Water Monterey project is an innovative project using many unused sources of water including vegetable wash water, storm water runoff and industrial drain water. (10.08.15)
  • Letter: LandWatch Comments on Draft EIR (170K PDF)
    LandWatch focuses on projects that are and are not on the cumulative impacts list, corrects adopted plan information, questions the “no” alternative project plan, among other things.

Project History

  • Pure Water Monterey Expansion Advancing
    The Pure Water Monterey project has been recommended for approval by a committee of the Monterey One Board. The Board of Directors considers the certification of the Supplemental EIR on April 26, 2021. (04.20.21)
  • Votes Matter—Especially on the Water Board
    The unique way of counting votes for the Pure Water Monterey project has come under scrutiny because some members get one, two, three or six votes. One member agency reached the threshold for additional votes, due to population growth, but the remaining board members wouldn’t increase the weight. (06.04.20)
  • Letter: From One Water Agency to Another (125K PDF)
    The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District asks for clarification and seeks a new vote by the Monterey One Water Board regarding the expansion of the recycling water project facility expansion. (05.01.20)
  • Politics Won, Recycled Water Lost
    Even with the support for the recycled water project expansion topping 170 letters, the Monterey One Water Board had a split vote in favor of NOT certifying the plan. (04.29.20)
  • Water District Considering Lawsuit Against Partner Agency
    The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District is considering legal action against the Monterey One Water Board for not certifying the environmental documents.  The discussion occurred during Closed Session. (04.29.20)
  • Desalination Proponents Get A Win
    With hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, and a decidedly split vote, the expansion of the Pure Water Project was a popular live stream on Zoom. Groups like LandWatch supported certification of the EIR, but the vote went the other way. (04.28.20)
  • Cal Am Brings Politics to the Forefront
    Unlike many businesses touting a “we are in this together” slogan during the pandemic, Cal Am is clearly not. The agency is only looking out for its bottom line. The expansion of the Pure Water facility will cost one billion less and could be achieved in 18 months. Whereas the CalAm desalination project may never be built. (04.23.20)
  • Water Battle Goes Virtual
    The Monterey One Water Board has a virtual meeting scheduled to consider the environmental documents of the proposed Pure Water expansion. This is one of the steps necessary if the District intends to buy CalAm’s local water system and/or use eminent domain. (04.18.20)
  • California’s ‘Salad Bowl’ Recharges Depleted Aquifer
    The Pure Water Monterey treatment plant, which will inject water into the Seaside basin, will help refill the severely depleted aquifer. In addition, water will be recycled from existing sources like: agricultural drainage water, agricultural wash water, and storm water runoff. (03.09.20)
  • New Water Recycling Projects May Be Proposed
    Seawater that intrudes coastal aquifers creates challenges to getting clean water to pump. The Seaside groundwater basin is targeted for recycled water injections. (01.26.20)
  • Pure Water Delayed (Again)
    A key test has been completed and the report is on its way to the state. The goal is to begin water delivery in February 2020 one month behind. (01.10.20)
  • Three Water Projects Delayed (Again)
    The Pure Water Monterey project and its expansion—along with the proposed CalAm desalination project—are delayed again. These delays mean it is less likely the required Carmel River water pumping cutbacks will be achieved by the end of 2021. (11.21.19)
  • Pure Water Draft EIR Released
    As part of its environmental review process a draft environmental impact report was released by the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District on its expansion of the Pure Water facility.  The comment period ends December 23, 2019. (11.07.19)
  • Water for Golf Course Comes from Pure Water, Development Gets to Pump
    The water used to irrigate Bayonet & Black Horse in Seaside is of drinking water quality. Now, the plan is to use water from Monterey One Pure Water facility (recycled wastewater) and allow Campus Town to use groundwater. (11.01.19)
  • Recycling Project Hailed as a National Model
    The long awaited Pure Water Monterey recycling water project was completed. This project uses agricultural runoff and other wastewater sources and converts them to potable drinking water.  It could bring 1/3 of Peninsula’s drinking water from this new source. (10.04.19)
  • Water District Says Recycled Water Will Do
    Reports are mixed as to whether or not the Peninsula can get by with just recycled water instead of a desalination facility. The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District thinks the recycled water will not only be enough, but also meet the state mandated cutbacks required on the Salinas River. (09.18.19)
  • Pure Water Project Delayed
    The recycled water project has hit another delay. Last month a schedule outlined key milestones, but it isn’t on target as the complexity of the project proves challenging. The project could begin extracting water around the first quarter of 2020. (09.13.19)
  • Memo Released by Water District (268K PDF)
    In a memo released by Monterey Peninsula Water Management District General Manager David J. Stoldt, he outlines the work being done on the Pure Water Monterey expansion.  Further, it looks at available water supplies and meeting existing and future water needs. (09.13.19)
  • Work to Begin on Water Project
    After a split vote by the Board of Supervisors, Cal Am, the project proponent, will be begin work on its Pure Water facility. The project is expected to generate 6.4 million gallons per day and sits on a 25-acre site. (07.16.19)
  • Pure Water Fails to Meet Agreement Deadline
    Monday’s deadline to deliver potable water via the Pure Water Monterey project wasn’t met. It is expected to be September or October before delivery is available. (07.03.19)
  • Pure Water Challenges County Decision
    Pure Water has appealed the County Planning Commission decision on the CalAm desal project arguing that the project fails to address several fundamental issues like groundwater rights. (05.20.19)
  • Pure Water Project to Start Environmental Review
    Monterey One Water issued its notice for a supplemental environmental impact report for the Pure Water facility. There is a 30-day review period and comments close June 14, 2019. (05.16.19)
  • Pure Water Facility Nearing Completion
    In May 2017, construction began on the Pure Water Monterey facility.  It is nearing the final stages of completion and is designed to create a new source of potable water supply by summer. (02.01.19)
  • Funds go to Pure Water Project
    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has funds available for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades.  Nearly half of the EPA’s California allocation of $173.5 million will go to the Pure Water project in Monterey County. (02.14.18)
  • Groundbreaking for Pure Water Project
    Through a public-private partnership a key milestone was reached for the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District and California American Water.  The Pure Water recycled water project broke ground. (05.05.17)
  • Pure Water Gets Wide Ranging Support
    California leaders made it clear replacement water supplies are needed. The Pure Water Monterey project is promising safe, sustainable, and economically responsible water for the region. LandWatch is one of many supporting this project. (06.11.16)
  • Pure Watch Agreement Approved
    LandWatch became an intervenor in the Cal-Am Water Supply Project primarily to ensure the Groundwater Replenishment Project, now called Pure Water Monterey, comes to fruition. Last Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the Pure Water Monterey project. (11.03.15)
  • Pure Water Project Goes to Board
    The Board of Supervisors will decide to sign the Memorandum of Understanding for the PureWater project.  This innovative groundwater replenishment project provides a guaranteed water source. (11.02.15)
  • Pure Water Project EIR Approved
    This cutting edge groundwater replenishment system project recycles waste water and storm water to recharge the Seaside aquifer and provide irrigation water for Salinas Valley agriculture. LandWatch has long supported Pure Water and we are pleased with the outcome. (10.12.15)
  • Pure Water EIR to be Reviewed
    October 8th the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency will consider certification of the final Environmental Impact Report at a public hearing. What is being evaluated/considered is the groundwater replenishment project. (09.28.15)
  • Groundwater Replenishment Project EIR Released
    The Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) has released a Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) for the Pure Water Monterey Groundwater Replenishment Project. MRWPCA is the Lead Agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The public review and comment period for the Draft EIR runs for 45 days, beginning April 22, 2015 and ending June 5, 2015. A copy of the Draft EIR is available for review during normal business hours at the MRWPCA Administrative Office, 5 Harris Court, Bldg. D, Monterey, CA 93940. (04.22.15)
  • CPUC Holds Public Participation Hearings on January 9th
    The California Public Utilities Commission is taking public testimony on Cal-Am’s Water Supply Project. LandWatch has three main concerns: Cal-Am’s groundwater rights, including a portfolio of water supply solutions, and public ownership through the Hybrid Regional Plan. (01.03.13)
Policy Issues & Actions