California Coastal Commission may vote on the project at their November meeting
Earlier this month, the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project’s application was deemed complete, and the project will move for a vote at the California Coastal Commission’s meeting as early as November 2022. The project, which would create and expand three water supply sources for the Monterey Peninsula to reduce regional demand on groundwater and the Carmel River, has gained widespread community support.
Here is what local organizations and leaders across the community say about the issue:
“On the Monterey Peninsula, we have been dedicated to conservation for years, and have been largely successful in those efforts,” said John Tilley, Monterey Commercial Property Owners Association President. “But given the severity of California’s drought, increased seawater intrusion and limits on the Carmel River, we have done what we can with the resources in the region. Severe rationing is the next step and will negatively impact the lives of people reliant upon a functioning local economy. We need the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project to sustain the future of our community.”
“We’re all aware of the challenges the hospitality industry has faced over the course of the pandemic. But here on the Monterey Peninsula, we’re facing another challenge and dire consequences of a water shortage that is impacting our region disproportionately,” said Gary Cursio, Monterey County Hospitality Association Government Affairs Director. “As businesses are slowly recovering, we need to ensure that there is a reliable water source to support our local economy.”
“For years, the Monterey Peninsula has been under a strict building moratorium due to a severe shortage of water,” said Paul Bruno, Monterey Peninsula Engineering Chief Financial Officer. “The result has been a lack of affordable housing for the community and a long and expensive commute for those who work in the region. The Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project will infuse the county with a new water supply and allow building to commence, ensuring people can work and live on the Peninsula again.”
“The community of Castroville has been hit the hardest, facing a drinking water crisis due to seawater intrusion, which is impacting low wage workers and communities of color disproportionately,” said Cosme Padilla, Castroville community advocate. “The Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project will provide critical water resources across the region and has created the Customer Assistance Program to help offset any new costs for those who need it most.”
“The Carmel River needs relief, and the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project will do just that,” said Abbie Beane, Carmel River Watershed Conservancy Executive Director and Lorin Letendre, Carmel River Watershed Conservancy President, in a joint statement. “The project will protect the Carmel River and critical habitats for the threatened species that rely on the watershed for survival. This project is not only providing water for the community but saving precious resources on the Monterey Peninsula.”
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