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The Water Resources Agency manages, protects, stores and conserves water resources in Monterey County for beneficial and environmental use, while minimizing damage from flooding to create a safe and sustainable water supply for present and future generations.



All permits to construct, repair, alter, or destroy a water well in Monterey County are issued by the Monterey County Health Department (MCHD). MCWRA collaborates with MCHD during the application review process for many wells, serving as a technical consultant and ensuring protection of the County's water resources.

Wells In The Floodplain

image of well casing diagram

MCWRA is involved in the review of any well that is located in a 100-year floodplain. Wells constructed in a 100-year floodplain must be built such that any openings, vents, and attendant utilities are either flood-proof or elevated above the base flood elevation of the well site.

As part of the permit application process, MCWRA will determine if a proposed well site is located in a FEMA-defined 100-year floodplain. If applicable, MCWRA will provide the base flood elevation at the well site and define the minimum construction elevation for the well in order to prevent the entrance of floodwater.

MCWRA requires that a Floodproofing Plan be submitted prior to the start of well construction. The Floodproofing Plan must show that the well and all attendant utilities will be flood-proof or elevated above the base flood elevation. Often, the services of a registered civil engineer and/or licensed land surveyor will be required as part of completing a Floodproofing Plan.

MCWRA Ordinances

Ordinance 3709 - Adopted September 14, 1993

Ordinance 3709 is intended to reduce groundwater extractions from the Pressure 180-Foot Aquifer in specific areas of the northern Salinas Valley so as to reduce the rate of seawater intrusion.

The ordinance applies to all groundwater extraction facilities which have a discharge pipe with an inside diameter equal to or greater than three (3) inches.

The ordinance defines an area of applicability, comprised of Territory A and Territory B.

Ordinance 3790 - Adopted November 8, 1994

Ordinance 3790 establishes regulations for the classification, operation, maintenance and destruction of groundwater wells in the Castroville Seawater Intrusion Project area, known as Zone 2B.

2010 Monterey County General Plan

There are policies within the2010 Monterey County General Plan which require that MCWRA conduct well impact assessments for new domestic and high capacity wells. Policy PS-3.3 pertains to new domestic wells and Policy PS-3.4 to new high capacity wells. The well impact assessment is a threshold analysis, intended to determine if a proposed well indicates potential for significant adverse impact to existing domestic wells, water system wells, or in-stream flows. MCWRA conducts well impact assessments for all new domestic and high capacity wells in Monterey County.

A high capacity well is defined by the General Plan as a well that has a flow over 1,000 gallons per minute.

Replacement wells are exempt from the well impact assessment.

Well Database

MCWRA maintains a database of well information for Monterey County based on data submitted on Well Completion Reports. For more on this topic, please see the MCWRA Well Completion Reports page.


MCWRA charges fees for the review of well permit applications, well impact assessments, and maintenance of a well database for Monterey County, as described in Article XI of the Monterey County Fee Resolution. These fees are charged in addition to well permitting fees charged by the Monterey County Environmental Health Bureau. In order to streamline the well permit application process, these fees are collected from applicants on behalf of MCWRA by the Monterey County Environmental Health Bureau.

MCWRA collects fees for review of certain well permit applications in Zone 2C and additional areas of Monterey County, inclusive of the jurisdiction of the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency.

MCWRA collects fees for conducting well impact assessments throughout Monterey County.

A description of Monterey County Well Permit Application Fees can be found here.

Associated maps for determining permit fees can be found here.

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Monterey County Water Resources Agency
1441 Schilling Pl., North Bldg., Salinas, CA 93901

    Phone (831) 755-4860   |   FAX (831) 424-7935   |   After Hours (831) 796-1166

Email: OfficeassistantII@co.monterey.ca.us