There are several documents that convey information related to the Monterey Regional Water Supply Reliability Dialogue. These first documents helped to set the stage for the collaborative dialogue, "Monterey Regional Water Supply Reliability Planning Milestones", and the "Draft Articles of Collaboration". The Milestones document explains the planned steps taken over the course of a year to develop an affordable, attainable, and implementable water supply plan. The Draft Articles of Collaboration define the level of decorum and conduct expected of each other during the dialogue process. Both of these documents were presented as drafts and the assembled group was invited to comment, modify, and edit them collaboratively.
In the second meeting, participants discussed the "Draft Conflict Resolution Process" and agreed on ground rules for interaction in the meeting. Next, meeting participants discussed the "Draft Monterey Regional Water Demands" authored by Eric Zigas, lead on the Environmental Impact Review conducted for the California Public Utilities Commission by Environmental Science Associates. This information was provided to Mr. Zigas by the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District. Comments regarding these regional water demands are available in the meeting notes. Information about Monterey water supply projects was shared in several exhibits, 13a, 13b, and 13c. These documents are also referred to as Monterey Peninsula Water Management District matrices.
During the third meeting participants heard two presentations. Catherine Borrowman, UCSC member of the Study Team presented a conceptual overview of her research on demographic and economic characteristics of the Monterey region. The analysis will examine the regional value of water with a qualitative study of how reliable water supplies support economic vitality. The two goals of the research are: to supply useful information for collaborators in this project, and to provide data for UCSC Senior Research Economist Steve Kasower for ongoing economic analytical work. The second presentation of the California Public Utilities Commission's Environmental Impact Review (CEQA) analysis is described in the meeting notes and in the CEQA section.
In the May monthly meeting Steve Kasower presented the "Draft Plan of Study" and received comments from participants. Information regarding this draft document is located in the Regional Supply Plan section. Division of Ratepayer Advocates Intern Lisa Walling presented a project she completed in partial fulfillment of her masters degree on the use of the Water Evaluation And Planning System for evaluating water supply alternatives in the Monterey Region. Click here to see the presentation. Ms. Walling entered data from the California American Water service area to investigate demand and supply projections using scenarios of conservation and recycling to identify unmet need. Refer to the meeting notes for more information about the discussion. The Monterey Regional Water Supply Reliability Collaboration website was presented for comment by REPOG members prior to its launch June 15, 2007.
During the August meeting, REPOG participants discussed technical details and the process of regional water supply planning. Progress-to-date with the UCSC Study Team and RMC Water and Environment's evaluative work was presented and critiqued. The team took project descriptions and made preliminary project evaluations. These evaluations were then incorporated into a group of supply options from which a set of criteria were applied to defined regional programs. Preliminary program evaluations were developed and shared with the technical work group and the REPOG to get input and to further refine the programs. (The project and programmatic evaluation matrices and a matrix of information on potential water supply projects prepared by RMC Water and Environment were discussed.) Mr. Israel delivered an update about the regional leaders task force process to sign a Memorandum of Understanding regarding regional water supply planning. He sounded hopeful that the document would be signed prior to their next meeting in late October. The Articles of Confederation was discussed and renamed the Articles of Participation to better reflect the purpose of the document. Meeting notes reflecting the discussion have been posted.
In September, participants in the REPOG reviewed the program level recommendation of the UCSC Study Team and consultants RMC Water and Environment named the “Regional Urban Water Supply Evaluation”. The political context of the Monterey region was evaluated in terms of how the REPOG could work with the Regional Leadership Task Force toward implementation of beneficial projects. A discussion about financing water supply projects with state grants was helpful to illuminate two points. First, the regional supply plan components should be included into the integrated regional water management planning process, and second, grant proposals must be sought after by the regional leaders among a coalition of water agencies. The participants discussed next steps for water agencies and the Study Team to develop an implementation strategy that would succeed in being incorporated into the EIR process. Tasks identified included the members of the Study Team taking the current "draft plan" or "regional strategy" to facilitate negotiations between agencies, and presenting information to the Regional Leadership Task Force. Lastly, the Public Information and Involvement Work Group discussed the idea of a press release and other efforts to spread the word about the draft integrated phased water supply plan. Meeting notes have been posted.
In October, participants revived a debate over growth and water supply to satisfy regulatory requirements and expressed a desire to see the Monterey Regional Leadership Task Force convene. The practical step forward for the region is to agree to fund the development of the engineering feasibility level assessments of the regional water supply plan components for inclusion on the EIR. This will help the region subsequently prepare applications for state funding with the coordination among multiple entities in Monterey County. Non-political issues associated with implementation of the draft regional water supply strategy were also discussed. Regarding the next step forward with planning, Eric Zigas, of the EIR team, the UCSC Study Team and Mr. Melton from RMC responded to questions regarding the detailed planning work that would need to occur prior to April to be included in the Environmental Impact Review report for the Coastal Water Project. Lastly, the REPOG acknowledged its members would like to see more urban and agriculture collaboration with water supply planning for this regional effort, and talked about how the interests of both communities can be aligned for mutual benefits with specific projects in the Salinas Groundwater Basin. Meeting notes have been posted.
In December, a record number of participants attended the REPOG. Mr. Melton described the "Monterey Regional Water Supply Program", which is a set of ideas that have been developed by the Center for Integrated Water Research and RMC Water and Environment. The group discussed elements of this program and the political situation in the Monterey Region. The group received the advice to move quickly with the coordinated implementation schedule to prepare useful analytical work to help the EIR team evaluate how feasible the regional alternative is by April. Next steps for the REPOG include meetings in January and February. The MRWPCA offered to host a meeting for the City Managers and Mayors of Monterey County to discuss this regional water supply program with representatives from the REPOG.
As of March 31, 2009, the Center is no longer facilitating the dialogues. More information is available at http://www.waterformontereycounty.org.