Environmental Law

Envt'l Law News Fall 2019, Vol. 28, No. 2

An Aquifer Betrayed: The Monterey Desalinization Project at Odds with California Water Law

by Paul Stanton Kibel*

Paul Stanton Kibel


The California American Water Company’s Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project (Cal-Am Project) is a proposed desalinization facility in Monterey County that was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in September 2018.1 The Cal-Am Project would treat water pumped from inland coastal groundwater aquifers—the Dune Sand Aquifer and the 180-Foot Aquifer—rather than water pumped directly from the ocean. The Cal-Am Projet’s pumping of these coastal aquifers is expected to result in increased seawater intrusion in groundwater.

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