Size Matters: The Consequences of Building a Bigger Water Project

February 15, 2013

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The Carmel River

“Proponents of a new dam are fond of saying that we should not use water supply to control growth. Yet any dam proposal implies strong pro-growth policy, in the assumption that there will be new customers to pay for the dam.”  – Water Board Candidate, Dr. John Williams, 1978.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The dam may be dead, but Dr. Williams’ 35-year-old warning, that building a water project larger, and more expensive, than needed by current residents places supervisors and city councils under pressure to approve development, remains as relevant as ever. Not to mention the fact that, even if plenty of new development is actually built – a thing which, following the economic downturn, we should all realize is by no means certain – these plans still seem to always leave current residents picking up more than their share of the cost. Read the rest of this entry »

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Enforcing Order 95-10

January 31, 2008

Mayors and other Monterey Peninsula notables have had their knickers in a twist ever since the news broke two weeks ago that the State Water Resources Control Board is considering actually enforcing their Order 95-10. What’s the big deal? Well, Order 95-10 decrees that our friendly water company, Cal-Am, has the right to pump only 3,376 acre feet per year of water from Carmel Valley – the source of most of the Monterey Peninsula’s water. Last year Cal-Am kept water in Peninsula taps by pumping 11,285 acre feet. Complying with Order 95-10 would thus mean a 70% cutback in Carmel Valley pumping and, obviously, require some pretty hefty cutbacks in water use by Monterey Peninsula residents and businesses.

So where did this Order 95-10 come from, how come it’s never been enforced, and why has the SWRCB suddenly gotten interested in enforcing it now? Read the rest of this entry »