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Water & Drought

We live in an area of limited water availability and predictions by climatologists and others are that water scarcity will continue and probably worsen. As of the writing of this website, the area is under a 2007 court cease-and-desist order to reduce pumping of water from the Carmel River, (our main water supply) by 50% over the seven years following the court order.  The order was issued because, according to State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), approximately 70% of the Cal-Am water supply is based on unlawful diversion from the Carmel River.  This order imposes a constraint on new development by requiring that a different water supply be used to reduce diversions from the Carmel River prior to allowing new users.

The Marina Coast Water District, the Monterey County Water Resources Agency and Cal-Am are currently working to increase the supply of water through the building of desalination plants. 


Local water access and use in this area is controlled by the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District.  The District has four main goals:

  1. Augment the water supply through integrated management of ground and surface water resources
  2. Promote water conservation
  3. Promote water reuse and reclamation of storm and wastewater
  4. Foster the scenic values, environmental quality, native vegetation, fish and wildlife, and recreation on the Monterey Peninsula and in the Carmel River basin.
For further information about water issues, which are constantly evolving, please contact Lorin Letendre, Executive Director of the Carmel River Watershed Conservancy: [email protected]

Carmel River Watershed Conservancy
Carmel River Floodplain Restoration and Environmental Enhancement Project (CSUMB)
Lower Carmel River and Lagoon Floodplain Restoration and Enhancement Porject (MPWMD)
Carmel River Watershed Stewardship Manual

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Pumping limit under cutback order extension risks rationing (6/21/16)

Last Updated 6/21/16