Monterey One Water officials on Monday moved closer to its goal of providing additional water for the Monterey Peninsula when it unanimously approved a key environmental report for its expansion project. The 10 members of the board of Monterey One Water all voted to approve an environmental document called a supplemental environmental impact report, or SEIR, that advances closer to the expansion of its regional treatment plant. Monterey One is the sewer treatment provider in northern Monterey County that has invested in proven technology that can purify wastewater to the degree it becomes drinkable. It is then reintroduced into local groundwater.
California American Water has sued the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District challenging the environmental review of the district’s potential public takeover bid of the company’s local water system.
California American Water officials are defending the company’s proposed desalination project in response to the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District’s move last month to formally oppose it at the Coastal Commission in favor of a proposed recycled water expansion.
To a large extent, the fate of several multi-million dollar water projects on the Monterey Peninsula is in the hands of the California Coastal Commission. The question is whether the commission will grant a development permit for a desalination plant proposed by California American Water—or will the commission deny the permit and implicitly endorse a smaller project that would provide new water to the area by expanding the regional wastewater recycling facility. A vote is expected at the August 12-14 meeting of the commission.