Monday, October 29, 2012
There are multiple proposals to deal with the water supply problems on the Monterey Peninsula, and the Carmel Valley Association has just published a brief overview. You can find a link at kusp.org/land use. Projects being considered include the People’s Desal Project, the Deep Water Desal Project, alternative well locations within the boundary of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, and a desalination project proposed by CalAm.
Because the California Public Utilities Commission is going to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, on the CalAm project, all of these various alternatives should now be studied on an equal footing. Both the California Environmental Quality Act (the state law), and the National Environmental Policy Act (the federal law) do require that a reasonable range of alternatives be compared with respect to their environmental impacts. I am sure you will hear from me in the future, with an exhortation that you get personally involved in the environmental review process.
Neither federal nor state law requires that the upcoming environmental review include a financial analysis that makes an “equal footing” comparison between all the various projects, in terms of their financial impacts. The Carmel Valley Association wants to make sure that such a financial comparison is actually carried out, and are suggesting that this is something that the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District should do.