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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.

MCWRA Ordinances

Ordinance 5303- Adopted June 26, 2018

Ordinance 5302 placed a temporary moratorium on the drilling of new wells in the Pressure 180-Foot and Pressure 400-Foot Aquifers in a defined ‘Area of Impact’. It also prohibited new wells from being drilled into the Deep Aquifers, with the exception of replacement, domestic and municipal supply wells. Ordinance 5302 was set to expire on July 5, 2018 unless it was extended.

Ordinance 5303 extended interim Ordinance 5302 but is set to expire May 21, 2020. 

A map of Deep Aquifer Wells, including wells drilled under Ordinance 5303, can be found here.

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 the 2010 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.

Pages Under Salinas Valley Water Project (SVWP)

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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