California American Water petitions to extend Carmel River cutback order

California American Water has filed a joint petition together with local stakeholders to modify the State Water Resources Control Board's 2009 Cease and Desist order to allow more time for the completion of the company's desalination project.

CARMEL VALLEY, CA, Nov. 23, 2015 -- California American Water has filed a joint petition together with local stakeholders to modify the State Water Resources Control Board's 2009 Cease and Desist order to allow more time for the completion of the company's desalination project.

After finding that the Carmel River was being negatively impacted through use as the primary water supply for the Monterey Peninsula community, the SWRCB issued an order that requires the company to significantly reduce the amount of water it diverts from the river.

To comply with the order, the company proposed the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project. Approval of this proposed seawater desalination project is pending before the California Public Utilities Commission. While significant progress on the project has been made, the company estimates it will not be able to make the state's deadline of Dec. 31, 2016. As a result, California America Water and numerous stakeholders worked together to develop a proposal to extend the deadline to provide the time needed for the project to work its way through the regulatory approval process.

The proposal would extend the deadline until December 31, 2020, with modest reductions required during the interim. During the extension period, the company would be required to meet annual milestones related to development of the project. The proposal would impose additional reduction penalties if any of the milestones are not met.

"The state's order was put in place in part to motivate the Peninsula to get serious about finding an alternative to the Carmel River as our primary source of water," said California American Water central coast operations director Eric Sabolsice. "Our current proposal to modify the order was drafted in line with that directive by providing clear milestones that must be met, while also allowing our community sufficient time to build a new project and avoid the untenable consequences of reducing Carmel River diversions dramatically before a replacement water source is available."

The proposed modification will be considered by the SWRCB and will be subject to public comment. The SWRCB may adopt, amend or reject the proposal. Hearing dates and other important updates will be provided as they become available.

About California American Water

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

About American Water Works Company

Founded in 1886, American Water Works Company is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in more than 47 states, and parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.

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