In November of 2014 the City of Pacific Grove certified an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a Pacific Grove Local Water Project (PGLWP). In general the project would treat wastewater enough that it could be used for irrigation of the Pacific Grove Golf Course and a cemetery. CRSA had looked at the project and because it would reduce water provided by Cal Am, CRSA felt it was a benefit to the river and did not comment on the EIR.
In July of 2015 Pacific Grove issued a Draft Supplemental EIR for the same project, but now Pacific Grove was proposing to ask for water entitlements from Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (WPWMD) for more water than they would save, thus increasing harm to the river and steelhead.
CRSA and others protested the Supplemental EIR. Our protests were not enough to prevent Pacific Grove certifying the Supplemental EIR, so CRSA had to take further action. While CRSA felt the PGLWP was a good project, by asking for a water entitlement, it was contrary to the Cease and Desist Order.
CRSA met with both the General Manager of Pacific Grove and the attorney for Pacific Grove to persuade them to not seek a water entitlement. When this failed, CRSA and others pressured the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to put a condition on the loan Pacific Grove wanted for the project.
In the end, the SWRCB authorized Pacific Grove the one percent loan they were seeking, but agreed with CRSA that Water Order 2009-0060 (Cease and Desist Order) prevented Pacific Grove , or any other city, to allow hookups for new or expanded water use until the Cease and Desist Order was complied with. The actual condition was that Pacific Grove could not use the “saved” water for new or increased use until the Director of the SWRCB gave permission.