Q: It seems that the burden of lack of water or safety is on the homeowner in the problem areas (i.e., Granite Ridge, Aromas) yet Curtis Weeks and Steve Collins say it is the responsibility of the regional water management; and, development continues to be approved by the Board of Supervisors regardless of the serious problems.
A: The Water Resources Agency has authority for developing water supply solutions for the entire County. The Agency is responsible for projects and programs where the public have agreed to assessment and charges for the programs or projects. (Curtis Weeks, General Manager, Water Resources Agency)
Q: *What is the County's plan to provide Prunedale, North County with a long-term and sustainable water source; and, when may we expect to have it in place?
A: The Water Resource Agency, Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency, Aromas Water District, Castroville Community Services are working with the Supervisors Ad Hoc water committee to develop a comprehensive plan by the end of this calendar year. (Curtis Weeks, General Manager, Water Resources Agency)
Q: Why was the PUC decision meeting moved to May?
A: Process issues (such as scheduling a judge to hear a rate case) at the PUC are under their purview. Schedule issues can be impacted from any number of sources. (Curtis Weeks, General Manager, Water Resources Agency)
Q: Where is the Pajaro-Sunny Mesa Project representative?
A: [Pajaro-Sunny Mesa did not respond.]
Q: What about the area to the east of 101 such as Vierra Canyon?
A: The area east of 101 is being included in the comprehensive water supply plan discussed in the response to [the second question, above*]. (Curtis Weeks, General Manager, Water Resources Agency)
Q: Would a declaration of a "state of emergency" by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors help secure state/federal funds for any plans being considered to address County water shortages and water quality problems?
A: Specific conditions must be met to declare a state of emergency, and it is unclear whether those conditions can be satisfied under the circumstances facing North County residents with respect to potable water. A properly declared emergency generally facilitates the receipt of state or federal funds, but it is unknown whether such funding is presently available from either the state or federal government to address the water situation in North County, or what conditions would be imposed on the receipt or expenditure of those funds. Further inquiry by appropriate County departments would be required to address those issues. (Leslie J. Girard, Assistant County Counsel)
Q: How can a major subdivision application in Prunedale at San Miguel Canyon and Prunedale Road North (Carolyn Taylor Trust, 8100 North Prunedale Road, PLN 060413) have a mitigated negative declaration be circulated today with comment period ending August 15 and no environmental impact report? Two current parcels for a total of 16 lots.
A: Environmental Impact Reports are required for projects that could have a significant impact on the environment. For projects that provide adequate mitigation to reduce all potential environmental impacts to a less than significant level, either through project design or the imposition of mitigation measures by the county, a project can qualify for a Negative Declaration or a Mitigated Negative Declaration. If, through the hearing process, it is determined that a project could have a significant effect on the environment, then an Environmental Impact Report would be required unless the project is denied. (Mike Novo, Director, Monterey County Planning Department)
Q: Steve Collins said that "theoretically" the Salinas Valley Water Project, including the rubber dam, will help replenish the aquifer. What mechanism will prove that wells in Zone 2C are benefitting from this project?
A: The Water Resource Agency has a long-term well monitoring program that tracks groundwater elevations throughout the Salinas basin. Elevation increases above mean sea level in the groundwater basin will result in stopping sea water intrusion. (Curtis Weeks, General Manager, Water Resources Agency)
Q: I live opposite north end of Manzanita Park on Castroville Blvd. Wells are going dry daily. What is being done as a new source of water other than more pumping of our already overtaxed groundwater?
A: See the response to [the second question, above*]. (Curtis Weeks, General Manager, Water Resources Agency)
Q: When will water conservation and metering and monitoring cover both ag[ricultural] and residential (i.e., grey water and rain water capture and recycling)?
A: Metering and reporting water usage is not required (ag[ricultural] or residential) unless the basin is under adjudication or under oversight of a water management agency with an ordinance requiring metering. Water systems are encouraged to meter individual users and create a tiered rate structure to encourage conservation. New water systems are required to install meters. Monterey County has two active agriculture irrigation projects that use recycled water. One is the Castroville Seawater Instruction Project managed by the Monterey County Water Resource Agency and the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency. The other project is the Watsonville Area Water Recycling Project managed by the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency and the city of Watsonville. In order to conserve water on residential parcels, property owners can install rainwater catchments (cisterns) and graywater systems as long as they are properly installed and isolated from the domestic system. There are new graywater regulations regarding irrigation that have eased the standards to encourage the use of graywater and conserve potable water. Cheryl Sandoval, Environmental Health Division, Monterey County Health Department)
Q: The Modified Regional Plan MOUs the County turned over to the PUC Administrative Law Judge did not provide any desalination or recycled water for North County; no piping to North County, and no Phase II where North County would get desal[inated] water from a desal[ination] plant near Marina. Why were we left out of access to desalination water from the Modified Regional Plan?
A: The comprehensive plan under development will address both distribution and water supply for North Monterey County. The source water currently under consideration, groundwater from the Salinas groundwater basin and surface water from the Salinas River, are considerably less expensive than desalted water from either Moss Landing or Marina. (Curtis Weeks, General Manager, Water Resources Agency)
Q: What is the status of the legal conflict with Pajaro-Sunny Mesa? Why aren't they here? What is their role?
A: The status of the PSMCSD lawsuit against PVWMA is that PVWMA won in County of Santa Cruz Superior Court, and PSMCSD appealed the case to the Sixth District Appellate Court. (Mary Bannister, Executive Director, PVWMA)
Q: Can you please stop building more houses in the Granite Ridge until we have water? How many single family wells in Granite Ridge? The families that live near Sunny Mesa's well on Timeview are worried about their water supply. How can we be sure their water supply is not decreased? Can I have Don Rochester's contact information?
A: The Water Resources Agency does not approve land use decisions. The Agency reviews water supply availability in the land review process. The Water Resources Agency does not have data on the number of domestic wells. The most current version of the updated General Plan calls for review of the groundwater basin prior to any new subdivisions. (Curtis Weeks, General Manager, Water Resources Agency)
Q: Is there a reason Pajaro-Sunny Mesa did not participate and describe their services and future project plans?
A: [Pajaro-Sunny Mesa did not respond.]
Q: You discussed Pajaro Valley, Aromas, Sunny Mesa, Salinas Valley and Castroville. Does Oak Hills have water supply or quality issues -- if so, what? Will Oak Hills be affected by any projects proposed? CalAm isn't present.
A: Cal Water is the purveyor for Oak Hills. The area of Oak Hills is under consideration in the comprehensive plan discussed in [the second question, above*]. (Curtis Weeks, General Manager, Water Resources Agency)
Q: Apparently, no one in the County Admin. (government) "went to bat" for "stimulus funds" for Granite Ridge; why not?
A: The Water Resources Agency has "gone to bat" for Prop 84 grants for Granite Ridge. The County also supported Pajaro-Sunny Mesa's stimulus money grant as requested by PSM. It was determined a single requestor had better chances of receiving grant monies. (Curtis Weeks, General Manager, Water Resources Agency)
Q: Are the Prop. 84 grant funds designated for the critical water needs of North Monterey County residents? If so, which agency is facilitating this important effort?
A: The Agency has submitted a prop 84 grant application and is monitoring State financial status for next process steps. (Curtis Weeks, General Manager, Water Resources Agency)
Q: Kennedy Jenks, in their 2004 report prepared for the MCWRA, predicted City of Salinas wells will be impacted in 9 to 11 years by seawater via "leakage" to the deeper aquifer from the shallow aquifer. This is the same general area proposed for wells to supply water to North County. How will this impact the ability of North County to import Salinas Valley water?
A: As discussed in [previous responses], the Agency is looking at several different well locations and water supply sources to supply water to a new comprehensive water distribution system in North Monterey County. (Curtis Weeks, General Manager, Water Resources Agency)
Q: Regarding fire suppression water tanks (180,000 gallons) that are contaminated with arsenic -- what safety steps are to be taken for removal of contaminated water?
A: [North Monterey County Fire Protection District did not respond.]