2010 Monterey Regional Desalination Project:
Reimbursement Costs

Background

In 2010, stakeholders attempted to collaborate on developing a Monterey Regional Desalination Project that would address the region’s water constraints in light of the State Water Resources Control Board’s 1995 order which found that Cal Am Water was unlawfully diverting too much water from the Carmel River and directed it to develop other water resources.  The Project was unsustainable, but incurred many costs.  On May 24, 2013, Cal Am, the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, and the County of Monterey filed a Settlement with the CPUC requesting ratepayers reimburse Agency and County costs totaling $2.8 million with an additional $700,000 identified for potential, which could eventually total $3.5 million.

 

ORA’s Position

ORA’s analysis demonstrates that the May 2013 application settlement  is neither reasonable nor consistent with the law, and urges the CPUC to reject the request:

  • The outcome of the criminal trial of a former member of the Monterey County Water Resources Agency for conflict of interest on the 2010 Regional Desalination Project is central to analyzing the reasonableness of the Settlement, yet the trial is not due to commence until January 2014.
  • Request for reimbursement goes beyond what is allowed in the Reimbursement Agreement.
  • Cal Am has provided insufficient information to demonstrate that avoiding litigation is in the public interest.
  • Ratepayers’ interests are not represented in the proposed Settlement.

See ORA’s October 22, 2013 Testimony responding to parties’ proposed Settlement.

 

Proceeding Status

Parties are awaiting a new CPUC schedule for filing Briefs, but the new deadline is anticipated to be in early 2014.

A final CPUC decision is expected in spring 2014.

See the Proceeding docket.

 

Resources

Successor Project:  Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project