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Water Needs Include $20+ Million Fix
This week the Monterey County Water Resources Agency gave a grim report to the Board of Supervisors about its dire financial situation and how that will impact planning and projects to bring the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin into balance. Estimates show to complete just a fraction of the core plan for the basin will cost in excess of $20 million over the next five years. State law requires full sustainability by 2042, meaning the water that is being pumped out needs to equal what is recharged. How is this possible when development projects keep getting approved that further drain the already over-drafted basin? (05.19.15)

Digital Democracy Unveiled
Ever wonder what is happening in real time on specific legislation? Ever not been able to travel to Sacramento for a hearing, but wanted to watch anyways? You are in luck. Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom has led an effort to swing the doors wide open for the public to engage in their democracy. The public can now see, learn and hear information about bills, committees and decisions that impact them. It's called Digital Democracy and it makes your government MORE accessible. Check it out! (05.18.15)

Snowy Plover Habitat Shrinking
Two developments along the Sand City shoreline are impacting critical habitat for the federally endangered snowy plover. Conservation organizations are claiming there isn't enough protection of this important habitat. The nests and habitat are getting trampled by beach-goers... what would happen to the bird with additional beach goers in the mix? (05.11.15)

Monterey County Road Repair – Dire News
Ouch! According to the 2015 Rural Counties Pavement Needs Assessment, the county’s roads rank in the bottom third among 26 rural counties. The county has about $303 million to pay for its projected $1.175 billion in road repairs over the next 20 years, yet our Supervisors continue to approve building more roads the county can’t maintain. (05.08.15)

Drought Impacts to Groundwater Basin
Salinas Valley has a saltwater intrusion problem in the groundwater basin. Research indicates that the intrusion is exacerbated during times of drought, but that the true extent of the problem doesn't show up for several years after the end of the drought. (05.10.15)

Pebble Beach DEIR Released
The Draft EIR for the proposed Pebble Beach Affordable Housing project has been released for public review. The project includes 24 affordable units and appears to have two unavoidable significant impacts: traffic and water. Comments are due by June 19th to the County at: (05.04.15)

Water Project DEIR Released
Within the 1700 page multi-volume Environmental Impact Report, the conclusion is that a smaller desal plant combined with a new groundwater replenishment system is environmentally superior to the large desal option. What do you think? Public comments on this Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project are due July 1, 2015. (04.30.15)

Supervisors Reject Policies for Settlement Compliance
Yesterday was disappointing as the Board of Supervisors considered proposed General Plan amendments in compliance with a settlement agreement with LandWatch and others. The Board voted down the amendments with one Supervisor saying he hoped to send a message that the proposed amendments were unacceptable. LandWatch's Executive Director Amy White mentioned it would be unfortunate if we had to go back to court over this. Yes, it would be, wouldn't it? (04.28.15)

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