Calif. Public Utilities Commission approves $329M Monterey Desal project

Sept. 22, 2018
The Monterey Peninsula Desalination Project has been approved and is expected to be complete by 2021.

MONTEREY, CA, SEPT 21, 2018 -- The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted to approve the $329-million Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project (MPWSP), a desalination project off the coast of Monterey, Calif.

California American Water (Cal-Am), a publicly traded utility company, is expected to complete the project by 2021. In a news release, Cal-Am President Rich Svindland said, "[The] approval brings us closer to solving the Monterey Peninsula's water supply issues. It is a huge step forward toward establishing a sustainable water supply that will meet the community's water needs and protect the Carmel River."

State and court-ordered reductions in the community's primary sources of water, the Carmel River and the Seaside Aquifer, Monterey Weekly reports. Completion of the facility will provide the Monterey Peninsula with a reliable, drought-proof water supply, say project officials.

The project scope includes a desalination plant, expansion of the existing aquifer storage and recovery program, and purchase of recycled water to reduce demand on groundwater and the Carmel River. Water produced at the desalination plant will be delivered directly to the Monterey Peninsula for municipal uses, or to the Seaside Basin for aquifer storage.