In 1995, because of a complaint by CRSA and others, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) issued Water Order 95-10 that basically told Cal Am to diligently implement a new water source to replace the illegal water pumped from the Carmel River. In 2008 CRSA filed another complaint with the SWRCB stating that Water Order 95-10 had not been enforced because after thirteen years there was still illegal pumping occurring at the same rate as before Water Order 95-10. That complaint led to hearings to decide if Cal Am had been responsible and if further actions were necessary.
For multiple weeks, hearings were first held in Monterey and then in Sacramento with CRSA members testifying. In the end it was decided that thirteen years was not “diligent” and the SWRCB issued Water Order 09-60, or what has become known as the Cease and Desist Order.
The actual order had 11 parts that were further broken down into many sub-orders. The main parts were:
- Cal Am must implement a new water source by December 31, 2016 and thereafter only pump its legally permitted water from the Carmel River.
- Cal Am may not provide new water hookups for new or expanded use until it is only pumping legally permitted water.
- Cal Am must immediately reduce total pumping from the Carmel River to 10,978 acre feet annually.
- Any water pumped by way of Aquifer Storage and Recovery must reduce the illegal river pumping at a ratio of one-to-one.
Once again, actions by CRSA helped steelhead by limiting water withdrawals from the Carmel River and thus setting up even further benefits for steelhead.