Study examines water supply alternatives for Monterey Peninsula

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PACIFIC GROVE, CA, Oct. 5, 2011 -- California American Water has issued a technical memorandum concerning water supply alternatives designed to meet the Monterey Peninsula's water shortage. The memo, which was prepared by RBF Consulting, examines eleven water projects capable of meeting the area's water supply deficit, including the Marina desalination plant, pipeline, and Aquifer, Storage and Recovery (ASR) project approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. The findings will be presented at a public forum planned by the City of Monterey on Wednesday, October 26.

California American Water must develop a replacement water supply for the Monterey Peninsula in order to comply with state-ordered water cutbacks. In 2009, the California State Water Resources Control Board issued a Cease and Desist Order that will reduce the amount of water that can be drawn from the Carmel River, the community's primary water source, by nearly 70 percent over the next six years.

"Given all that's at stake, we wanted to confirm that we're on the best path," said California American Water Director of Engineering Richard Svindland. "We reviewed possible physical solutions to the peninsula's water supply shortage on an equal basis, eliminating factors of ownership, financing and politics, and did what engineers are trained to do: develop an apples-to-apples comparison of the alternatives in order to determine the least expensive, optimal mix of components."

The technical memo and accompanying presentation, entitled "Monterey Water Supply Analysis," examines how much water a new supply project must produce in order to comply with required cutbacks and ensure reliable water service sufficient to meet customer demands. It also looks at projected capital and operations and management costs for a variety of alternatives including expanded ASR combined with a smaller desalination facility, various locations for a desalination facility -- such as the Naval Postgraduate School, North Marina and Moss Landing, recycled water, and possible diversions from the Salinas River.

A supplemental memo that examines permitting requirements and anticipated timelines for each project is also being prepared. In that memo, the company's consultant will make a recommendation as to which project represents the best water supply solution for the area based on the criteria defined.

California American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), provides high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 600,000 people.

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