Multilateral accord edges Monterey desalination forward

Fifteen parties with interests in the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project, which involves a seawater desalination plant, reached agreement with California American Water (Cal Am) on a number of issues in settlements filed with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on 31 July 2013.

Key issues addressed in the settlements were:

· Criteria the CPUC should employ to determine when and if to move forward with the Ground Water Replenishment component of the project
· The development of a hydrogeological study and technical report on pumping from proposed slant wells to guide Cal Am’s use of source water
· Project costs, including cost recovery for capital, operation and maintenance costs
· Contingency plans for desalination facility intake, discharge and plant location
· Various financing mechanisms designed to lower the cost of water from the project
· Determination of the needed plant size to serve customers. The sizing takes into consideration the region’s demand plus allocations for growth, including development on lots of record, among other factors.

A prehearing conference on matters including the status of the settlement motion is set for 16 September 2013. The settlement agreements are pending CPUC approval and will not take effect until the CPUC reviews them and determines they are reasonable within the law and in the public interest.