Judge tells Cal Am to produce Monterey plan

California America Water (Cal Am) has until the start of March to come up with a new plan for providing water to the Monterey peninsula, according to a ruling by an administrative court on 25 January 2012.

The company had announced on 17 January 2012 that it had withdrawn its support of the three-party agreements behind the Regional Desalination Project. The project had been proposed with Marina Coast Water District and the Monterey County Water Resources Agency in response to state-imposed limitations abstractions from the peninsula's rivers.

Judge Angela Minkin said there appeared to be little progress on the regional project, which still lacked key permits or an adopted financing plan more than a year after its approval by the Public Utilities Commission. Her ruling was in response to an attempt by Cal Am to continue with non-desalination infrastructure work, which had permits, and could be used by any new project.

Cal Am officials said the withdrawal from the desalination project was prompted by failure to resolve issues among project partners, despite five months of mediation, and the lack of progress on the project as the state deadline approached.

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