Coastal Commission to Consider Project to Bring Reliable Water to Monterey Peninsula

A multi-pronged effort to bring a reliable, sustainable water supply to the Monterey Peninsula will be considered on November 17 by the California Coastal Commission.

The Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project’s desalination facility will be developed in the city of Marina and will bring reliable water to a region that has struggled with water supply issues for many years.

The commission staff has recommended approval of the project, which also is supported by the Reliable Water for Monterey County Coalition, made up of dozens of local stakeholders, advocacy organizations, environmental justice groups and conservation advocates.

The California Chamber of Commerce has joined local stakeholders in supporting the project. Vigorous pursuit of desalination is an important part of a comprehensive solution to the state’s chronic water shortage.

Monterey Peninsula Water Shortage

The Monterey Peninsula currently receives the majority of its water from the Carmel River. Since 1995, state water authorities have limited the amount of water to be pumped from the river to protect threatened species that live there.

The lack of reliable water led to a moratorium on new building and construction in the region nearly 15 years ago. As a result, there is a shortage of affordable housing in the region and businesses looking to expand have been stymied.

Businesses and residents in the region have used water conservation and water efficiency strategies to good effect; the Monterey Peninsula has some of the lowest water usages in the state — about 57 gallons per person each day.

But water supplies continue to be at risk from climate change, drought and seawater intrusion.

In addition to establishing a water desalination plant in the region, the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project by California American Water includes components to capture stormwater and replenish groundwater.

Show Support for Project

To join the CalChamber and local coalition in asking the California Coastal Commission to approve this project, email your support to and use the subject line, “Approve the Water Supply Project – Yes to Desalination!” on your email.

Readers interested in attending the California Coastal Commission hearing on November 17 in Salinas at the Monterey Board of Supervisors Chamber to echo the comments you’ve emailed in are welcome. Please RSVP at this link and a representative with Reliable Water for Monterey County will follow up with details.

Staff Contact: Brenda Bass