California American Water begins work on water supply pipeline

PACIFIC GROVE, CA, Oct. 6, 2009 -- California American Water has begun work on a pipeline in Del Rey Oaks that will help to address water supply issues on the Monterey Peninsula...

• Project will benefit the Carmel River and bring new water to the Monterey Peninsula

PACIFIC GROVE, CA, Oct. 6, 2009 -- California American Water has begun work on a pipeline in Del Rey Oaks that will help to address water supply issues on the Monterey Peninsula, where residents face threats of severe rationing from the state, which has placed strict limits on the community's primary water supply, the Carmel River.

"This is a small, but significant step toward finding new sources of water that will protect this community from severe cutbacks and restore the Carmel River," said California American Water general manager, Craig Anthony. "This project marks important progress in our mission to deliver a new, reliable, environmentally sensitive and affordable water supply to our customers in the Monterey area."

The pipeline is one component of an ambitious Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) project, which captures excess winter flows from the Carmel River and delivers them to the groundwater basin in Seaside, where the additional water will be available for withdrawal during the dry, summer months, while also helping to recharge the basin.

"The city of Del Rey Oaks appreciates the value this project brings to our residents and businesses and to solving the area's wider water supply crisis," said City Manager Daniel Dawson. "A reliable water supply is fundamental to our economy and quality of life. The long-term benefits of this important investment in our water infrastructure far outweigh any temporary inconvenience."

California American Water is charged by the state to come up with additional water supply of 11,285 acre feet per year to replace current pumping from the Carmel River and the Seaside Basin. A project to accomplish this, which includes a desalination facility, is currently under review by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), whose final environmental impact report on the project is expected this October.

California American Water began work on its ASR project in 2005 through a cooperative effort with the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District. Two ASR test wells have already been drilled in the Seaside Basin and have been in operation since 2008. The addition of the new pipeline will allow the full, permitted potential of excess Carmel River water to be captured and injected into the basin in the wintertime. Once the new pipeline is complete, it is estimated an average of 900 acre-feet per year of ASR water will be stored in the basin.

The new half-mile, 30 inch diameter pipeline will extend along Carlton Drive between Highway 218 and General Jim Moore Boulevard. It will connect the ASR project to California American Water's main customer distribution system. The project will also be connected to the Marina Coast Water District's (MCWD) distribution system through a separate pipeline, currently under construction by MCWD. If the CPUC approves a regional project that will supply water to areas outside California American Water's service territory and solve supply concerns beyond needed reductions from the Carmel River, that pipeline could deliver ASR water to the greater region and would be jointly owned by California American Water and MCWD.

Work on the project began last Wednesday and will take place largely at night. One lane of road will be open at all times and trenches will be temporarily patched to accommodate daytime traffic. During the anticipated 12-week construction schedule, customers in Del Rey Oaks will experience two brief, nighttime disruptions in water service - once when the new pipeline is connected to the system, and secondly, when individual service lines to homes and businesses are installed. Customers will be notified of the outages before they occur. Questions concerning the project may be directed to Catherine Bowie, manager of external affairs for California American Water at (831) 636-3208 or catherine.bowie@amwater.com

About California American Water
California American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water, provides high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to more than 600,000 people. Web Site: http://www.californiaamwater.com/

About American Water
Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in 32 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.

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