• Closed-door meeting attendees give support to 2nd option

    Attendees at the Jan. 27 closed-door meeting indicated support for “Option Two” of the original 11 plans presented months ago by RBF. “It was more of a question of ‘Does anyone object?’ than a vote,” said 5th district Water Management District representative Jeanne Byrne, who attended the meeting; a non-binding show of hands. Cal-Am had originally expressed preference for Option One until the Regional Water Project lost favor.

    The Jan. 27 meeting and the vote came in the wake of Cal-Am’s withdrawal of support for the Regional Water Project, Option One in the RMC study. That withdrawal was as a result of continuing disagreements among signing parties and legal issues surrounding the Regional Water Project, including indictment of  former director of the Monterey County Water Resources Agency Stephen Collins on charges he benefitted from his position and charges of conflict of interest. Recently, the State PUC tossed out the existing Environmental Impact Report, which had been produced by the PUC, and told Marina Coast Water District that they must produce their own EIR.

    Option Two called for a lower-capacity – 6.5 mgd or 7300 acre-feet per year– desalination plant on the Marina coast, likely with slant wells, plus 2700 acre-feet per year groundwater recharge of advanced (tertiary) water treatment effluent from the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency’s regional treatment facility.  6100 AFY of the desalination plant production would go to Cal Am and 1200 would be returned to Salinas Valley users, with 400 AFY being delivered during the 6-month wet season and 800 EFY delivered during the 6-month dry season. Effluent water would be used to recharge the Seaside aquifer and would be available for use about six months after pumping it into the ground. Regulation requires that effluent water be matched by water pumped from the Carmel River, so 2700 acre-feet per year of Carmel River water would be used for aquifer storage recovery and injection dilution. Currently, treated effluent is used to water crops in the low-water season and is pumped into the Monterey Bay Sanctuary when rainwater or other crop-watering sources are sufficient. In addition,

    In the RBF report, the cost of injection wells was not included in the capital cost estimate for California American Water facilities, but the cost of an 18-inch diameter pipeline to transport water to the effluent injection wells was included. A transfer pipeline which had been figured into the regional water Project at 36-inch diameter would be reduced to 24-inch diameter pipe in this second scenario.

    According to the original RBF report, the capital cost for Alternative Two, producing 11,300 AFY, expressed in 2012 dollars, would be as follows:


    Raw Water and Brine Facilities $49.4M

    Treatment Plants $139M

    Conveyance Facilities $70.6M

    Terminal Reservoir $24.1M

    ASR System $32.3M

    Total $316M


    Regarding timelines and contingency costs, the RBF Consulting report further states: “Implementation of any of the other alternatives would require additional environmental impact analysis, re-certification of the EIR, amendment and reapplication for the CPCN, and amendment of the application to the California Coastal Commission. These re-permitting costs are not specifically estimated in the cost estimates in this technical memorandum, although it could be argued that they are included under project contingency.

    More importantly, re-permitting of the project would delay implementation well beyond the October 2012 mid-point of construction that is the basis of estimating capital costs in this memorandum, and the resulting impacts of inflation on project costs are not reflected in this cost analysis.”

    Byrne does not believe the State will extend the deadline any farther than it already has unless there is significant progress.


    posted to Cedar Street Times on February 1, 2012

    Topics: Front PG News


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