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Water Scarcity in the Monterey County

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Presentation on theme: "Water Scarcity in the Monterey County"— Presentation transcript:

1 Water Scarcity in the Monterey County
Aaron Kochman Alexis Parker Ed Carapezza Evan Brunsfold Nick Parent

2 History of Water Scarcity in Monterey County

3 Facts and Figures: Monterey County uses 600,000 acre feet of water annually. 1 acre foot is equivalent to a pool of water the size of a football field one foot deep.

4 Facts and Figures: Northern border: Watsonville
Monterey County: Northern border: Watsonville Southern border: All towns north of Paso Robles Population: 415,057 (2010 US Census) Square miles: 3,771.07


6 Facts and Figures: Agriculture uses 90%.
Urban areas use the remaining 10%. There are 3000 natural wells on the Central Coast, 1900 of which are used for agriculture. A good portion of the 3000 wells are no longer viable.


8 Water Sources Where does Monterey Co's water come from?
Rivers: (14 total) Salinas River Carmel River Big Sur River

9 Water Sources Where does Monterey Co's water come from? Aquifers

10 Water Sources Where does Monterey Co's water come from? Reservoirs:
1) San Antonio 2) Los Padres

11 What causes water scarcity?
Human Consumption Natural Processes

12 Causes of Water Scarcity
Human consumption is the number one cause of water scarcity. Examples of how Monterey County consumes water: 1) vineyards 2) manufacturing 3) tourism 4) landscaping 5) residential 6) agriculture

13 Causes of Water Scarcity
Water is a limited commodity. Monterey County is dependent on regular rainfall to replenish rivers, aquifers and reservoirs. Two natural causes of water scarcity are drought and salt water intrusion.

14 Salt Water Intrusion History Definition According to the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, local governments have been working on the problem of water scarcity for 65 years. As early as 1930, Monterey County cities began to discuss the problem of saltwater intrusion. Underground erosion causing salt water to leach into the ground water.

15 Salt Water Intrusion Salt water intrusion can occur for two reasons.
1) Mother nature and time will cause slight changes in the aquifers of tidal areas. 2) Human growth expedites the process by pumping too close to the coast, thereby exasperating natural erosion patterns and speeding up salt water intrusion.


17 Where Can the Water Come from?

18 Groundwater Groundwater is water that is stored underground in what is called aquifers. This water can be pumped to the surface for us to use. It is commonly used for agricultural irrigation. Because it is so widely used for agriculture, it can contain agricultural contaminants, like: Nitrates

19 Runoff Runoff is water that originates as precipitation, in the form of rain or snow. Gravity causes this water to flow down towards sea-level in rivers and streams. Rivers can be dammed to collect that runoff water, so it can be used by people. Damming a river, or pumping water directly from a river can have detrimental effects on the river ecosystem. On the Monterey Peninsula, a majority of the water we use is pumped from the Carmel River. State regulators have restricted our use of Carmel River water, and we must reduce our pumping from the river by 70% by 2016. Endangered Steelhead trout use the Carmel River as a tributary to spawn. Our pumping of water from the river leaves little left for the Steelhead to swim in upstream to spawn.

20 Desalinization Desalinization is the process of taking water from the ocean, and turning it into fresh water by removing the salt and other minerals dissolved in it. This method is great for coastal communities, since the ocean’s salty water constitutes 97% of all of the precious life blood on the planet. The unfortunate side of the desalinization process is that it requires massive energy expenses to purify the water, and negative environmental effects can result from poor management of: where the water is pumped from where the salty brine that is left over after the water is purified is disposed of Two main methods of commercial desalinization: Distillation Reverse Osmosis

21 Distillation

22 Reverse Osmosis



25 Major Players for Conservation Methods
Cal Am Desalination Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) Portfolio approach as well as Ground Water Replenishment(GWR) and Regional Urban Water Augmentation Project. (RUWAP) -Cal Am Proposal (2011)

26 Major Players for Conservation Methods
Marina Coast Water District RUWAP Greater Monterey County Regional Water Management Group Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP)

27 Monopolization


29 Politics It is not a matter of IF people oppose water conservation…
It is a matter of HOW the water will be conserved.

30 Competing Arguments Against Water Conservation Methods
Water is renewable, thus conservation is not necessary Businesses prosper from products that use/contaminate local water sources Desalination facilities are not efficient enough

31 Major Players Against Water Conservation Advocates
All of the major players stated before want a monopoly over the water supply. Cal Am Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency Marina Coast Water District Greater Monterey County Regional Water Management Group It is a legislative war that will come to a conclusion before 2016

32 Costs Factors in Saving Water

33 New Ideas to get Water Desalination Iceberg Transport

34 Desalination -The process of removing any excess dirt, salt, or anything else that makes water undrinkable. - Seen by most experts as the best way to bring clean water to high drought areas

35 Iceberg Transport Taking icebergs that have broken off of glaciers and polar ice caps. More of a theoretical solution to getting water to Monterey They are most often transported to keep them from bashing into oil ships.


37 Iceberg Costs Very high risk
Icebergs contain 20 billion gallons of clean drinkable water, that’s if you didn’t have to move it. As opposed to the modern supertanker that can hold 100 million gallons. $ per mile in transport, and a portion of the iceberg is lost every mile as well.

38 Cost for Desalination Adds up to around that $100 dollars a year, for the households that receive the desalinated water. The plant can run for $300-$600 million. To produce 50 million gallons of drinking water a day.

39 Areas of Cost

40 Reverse Osmosis

41 Monterey County Decisions
-June, : 6-1 vote taken in favor of a new water fee -Sources say that the plan is to have a desalination plant here in Monterey County. -It would be less costly for the area than doing a regional desalination. - All in order to produce more fresh water and to stop extracting water from the Carmel River.

42 Water Conservation Conserving water is by far the most cost effective way of increasing our water supply. Native plant landscaping, subsidized replacement of water-using appliances, and using gray water are all methods that can conserve a community’s water supply. What else can you do? Turn off the sink when you brush your teeth. Take shorter showers, or shower with a friend ;) If it’s yellow, leave it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down. *An average American uses 2,000 gallons per day

43 References

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