Why Community Owned Water Instead of Cal Am?

  • The Monterey Peninsula has the most expensive water in the country according to Food & Water Watch.
  • Cal Am charged ratepayers $40 million for water they didn’t use to make up for lost profits after widely promoting conservation. Another charge of $13 million was approved in October 2017 for more water we didn’t use.
  • The Peninsula has seen a 68% increase in the cost of water over the past two years, with more increases scheduled, including the cost of slant wells, the Monterey pipeline, a reclaimed water project, a desal facility and more.
  • Cal Am takes $19 million in corporate profits and taxes out of our community annually. This money would be used to finance the  bond to buy Cal Am.
  • Cal Am is years away from a desal solution. The source water for its desal plant is not drawn from the ocean, but is instead mixed salt and fresh water drawn from a protected ground water aquifer. This makes litigation over their lack of water rights highly likely.
  • Cal Am is not pursuing a 'Plan B', which seems extraordinarily irresponsible since the Cease and Desist Order (CDO) looms over our community.
  • Cal Am’s slant well costs are skyrocketing. There are no slant wells in use as intakes for a desal plant anywhere in the world. These costs for research and development are paid by ratepayers.
  • Cal Am was ordered to stop overdrafting the Carmel River in 1995. In the 22 years since that Cease and Desist Order (CDO) was issued, Cal Am has implemented no new water supply projects. But it has charged us $34 million for three failed water projects.
  • The PWN ballot initiative asks the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District to buy out Cal Am if feasible. Most of the present Cal Am employees would be retained to facilitate ongoing operations. MPWMD would also take responsibility for new water projects. They have implemented five new water supply projects since 1995.
  • Currently 87% of the water systems in the country are publicly owned. Public ownership provides the best service for the lowest rate. Private ownership is focused on providing the highest return to shareholders.