We need the Coastal Commission to approve the water project – Monterey Herald

In the mid-1990s, state water authorities imposed a limit on the daily water allowed to be pumped from the Carmel River, the main water source for the Monterey Peninsula. The result was over 25 years of uncertainty for the peninsula as water demand continued to rise without an adequate supply.

As President of the Monterey Bay Defense Alliance, longtime resident of Monterey County, former City Manager of Monterey and former Director of Public Works and Housing for Fort Ord, an advanced degree from Stanford University in water resources, I say with the utmost conviction that the California Coastal Commission should approve the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project to meet the needs of our current and future residents, businesses and military missions who desperately need from a reliable source for a resilient long-term water supply.

When Californians hear about water scarcity, the first thing that comes to mind is drinking water. But an inadequate water supply impacts housing, businesses, local economies and even national security. A well-designed water supply should be structured to provide a responsive and resilient water supply sufficient to meet the requirements of general plans and local government housing components. Choking off water supplies to control growth, as has been done on the Monterey Peninsula, is bad public policy and results in land use decisions based on available water rather than housing needs. ‘a community. The result of this bad policy is reflected in part in the critical shortage of affordable workforce housing on the peninsula.

The Monterey Bay Defense Alliance, which I chair, ensures that national security activities in the Monterey area have access to adequate and reliable critical infrastructure, such as water, electricity and workforce housing. sufficient to meet current and future needs. Our mission is to protect and promote the interests of Monterey County’s military missions, which generate $2.6 billion annually in economic activity and are responsible for 18,300 jobs in Monterey. However, with a construction moratorium in place due to a limited water supply, it is impossible to provide workforce housing for our current military, veterans or workforce. civil society supporting our military missions.

These interests have led me to support the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project, which will provide a reliable, resilient and much-needed source of water for our region and protect us against future droughts. The project is necessary for the economic vitality of the Peninsula and our military installations.

The project is designed to provide an adequate and reliable drought-proof water supply to the peninsula. Our community desperately needs the assurance that our region has the water it needs to grow, prosper and care for our residents. Prolonged periods of drought have created an unprecedented water crisis that threatens jobs and our local economy, including the continued presence of local national security assets and military missions in our region.

Opponents of the project urge others to believe that other potential water sources can be expanded enough to meet projected demand. The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District has released a supply and demand analysis that purports to demonstrate this theory. Their theory is based on hope, not facts.

Further, the population projections that opponents have used to calculate demand do not include populations associated with state-mandated housing construction requirements. Our current offer and the opponents’ offer do not meet current and future demands.

The region’s water problems are a major threat to our future. The desalination project provides the solution that we have been debating for too long. The lack of water and the subsequent moratorium on construction exacerbated the housing crisis in the region, increasing housing costs and forcing workers to travel long distances between their jobs and affordable housing. The lack of manpower housing has become critical to our military organizations. This shortage severely affects their ability to maintain or recruit the highly technical civilian manpower they need to accomplish their combat unit support mission. The commander of an operational unit recently said they were forced to consider moving their mission elsewhere due to lack of manpower housing.

The MPWSP is part of a comprehensive approach to creating a reliable long-term water source through a portfolio of desalination, stormwater capture and water recycling. It will protect the Carmel River ecosystem, provide new water for housing and jobs, and improve shoreline access for local communities. The peninsula has been in dire need of a reliable, drought-tolerant supplemental water supply for more than four decades. There is no more time to wait. Without new water supplies, our peninsula could face water rationing and further pressure on a strained economy.

Our region needs the California Coastal Commission to approve the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project.

About Leslie Schwartz

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