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.
The history of the Salinas Valley Water Project, Phase II begins with Bulletin No. 52 Salinas Basin Investigation (“Bulletin 52”). Bulletin 52 is a study that was completed by the State of California Department of Public Works in 1946; it evaluated the water resources of the Salinas Valley and set forth possible solutions for maintaining a water supply and addressing the issue of seawater intrusion.
In response to the findings of Bulletin 52, the predecessor agency to MCWRA – called the Monterey County Flood Control and Water Conservation District – framed a solution strategy that included developing a surface water source, moving water to northern portions of the Salinas Valley to reduce groundwater pumping, and stopping pumping along the coast. As part of implementing this strategy, MCWRA filed two water right applications in 1949 to permit diversion of Salinas River surface water and delivery of that water to northern portions of the Salinas Valley. Water rights were allocated to MCWRA as a result of these applications and were later combined into Water Right Permit #11043.
Since MCWRA received Water Right Permit #11043, a number of projects have been implemented in support of the solution strategy, including:
- Nacimiento Reservoir;
- San Antonio Reservoir;
- the Monterey County Water Recycling Project (Salinas Valley Reclamation Project and Castroville Seawater Intrusion Project); and,
- the Salinas Valley Water Project, Phase I (Nacimiento Reservoir Spillway Modification and the Salinas River Diversion Facility).
In 2010, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) issued a Notice of Proposed Revocation of Water Right Permit #11043, asserting that MCWRA had “failed to commence, prosecute with due diligence and complete the work necessary to appropriate water under Permit 11043.”
In 2013, the SWRCB approved a Settlement Agreement that amended Water Right Permit #11043, reducing the face amount of the permit and setting forth required bypass flows. In addition, the Settlement Agreement outlined a series of milestones which MCWRA is required to meet in order to demonstrate progress toward implementation of the Salinas Valley Water Project, Phase II.
For a graphical representation of the timeline of events related to the Salinas Valley Water Project, Phase II, click here.
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