Public Water Now (PWN) is a community-based organization made up of citizens like you. We are committed to achieving the lowest cost, sustainable water supply for the Monterey Peninsula through public ownership. We are a 501(c) (4) non-profit organization with over 4,000 local members.
PWN drafted Measure J and brought it to the ballot in November 2018. Voters passed it by 56%, mandating that the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD) proceed with a buyout of Cal Am’s local water system if and when feasible. In November 2019 the results of the feasibility study done by expert consultants concluded the buyout was financial feasibility. In April 2023 MPWMD made Cal Am an offer of $449 million. Cal Am refused to sell and in October 2023 the MPWMD board of directors voted to buyout Cal Am using eminent domain.
PWN's ongoing work is to provide the public with an understanding of local water issues. We look at the impact that water ownership, as well as water projects and policies have on our community. We present our research through public forums, social media and the press and we participate at the CPUC. We have championed the Pure Water Monterey project and its expansion which will be completed in late 2025.
In 2017 the Monterey Peninsula had the most expensive water in the country, according to Food & Water Watch. Our water is three times the average cost of publicly owned water in California. Since then the cost of our water has continued to skyrocket. We have the most expensive water for a system of our size or greater in California. The Peninsula is the poster child for the negative consequences of the privatization of public water supplies.
The majority of the people (87%) in the U.S. get their water from publicly owned water systems for good reason, lower costs and local control.
Our water has been privately owned for over 100 years. Cal Am has been the owner since 1966. Cal Am is a subsidiary of American Water (AWK) the largest private water corporation in the country.
Our goal is the public ownership of our water supply and distribution system. Public Water Now wants a sustainable water supply that is more affordable for all water users on the Peninsula.
Public Water Now Goals
1. Public ownership of the water supply and distribution system on the Monterey Peninsula
2. Less costly, publicly owned water supply solutions like the Pure Water Monterey Expansion
3. Oppose excessive costs imposed on ratepayers by Cal Am and the CPUC
4. Educate the community on local water issues
5. Advocate to public officials on water-related issues that impact Cal Am ratepayers
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