Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Proposed Groundwater Replenishment Project?

The Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA), like many other agencies in California, is studying ways to fully reuse its wastewater. Under the planned scenario, treated wastewater will be further purified using advanced treatment processes. This water would then percolate or filter through the soil naturally into the aquifer, just like rainwater. This process "recharges" or helps replenish the aquifer while safeguarding it from seawater intrusion.

Why is MRWPCA considering this project?

In California (as well as other parts of the country and the world) water supplies are being stretched to the limit. The Monterey region is dealing with an adjudicated water basin and limited water supplies, stricter environmental constraints, and periodic droughts that will curtail unlimited use of our water supplies. Conserving and reusing this water resource instead of disposing of it in the ocean is efficient and provides a long term, sustainable water supply for our communities.

How does this project benefit the Monterey Peninsula?

A groundwater replenishment system would create a reliable, locally produced, ultra-pure water supply. In addition, this strictly regulated water supply would allow us to limit wastewater discharge into the delicate Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary.

What other communities use groundwater recharge?

Groundwater replenishment is used in many places around the world. As an example, Orange County California has operated a groundwater replenishment project since 1971. In this case, highly treated recycled water is used to prevent seawater intrusion into its aquifer by recharging it. Other communities include Los Angeles; Inland Empire; Las Vegas, Nevada; Scottsdale, Arizona; and El Paso, Texas.

Is the technology safe?

The California Department of Health Services is charged with the responsibility for establishing uniform statewide reclamation criteria to ensure that the use of groundwater replenishment will not be detrimental to public health.

MRWPCA would take treated wastewater and put it through an additional three-step treatment process of microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and oxidation with ultraviolet light and hydrogen peroxide. This process will make the water near distilled quality and exceeds all drinking water standards.

What is the effect of this water on water quality in the Seaside Aquifer?

The GWR Project creates ultra-pure water. By adding this water into the groundwater it will, over time, increase the quality of the water.

Can we have a presentation given to our community group?

Yes. Please call (831) 645-4604 to arrange for a presentation.

Can we take a tour of the wastewater treatment plant and recycled water facilities?

Yes. Please call (831) 645-4604 to arrange a tour.


Additional Resources

Project Partners

Monterey Peninsula Water Management District

California-American Water Co.’s Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project

Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority

California State Agencies

California Environmental Quality Act . CEQA is a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible. Learn more about the CEQA environmental review process.

California Department of Public Health. The department provides public health services throughout California -- from maintaining safe drinking water to protecting communities from communicable diseases, epidemics and contaminated food.

California Department of Water Resources. The department manages the water resources of California in cooperation with other agencies to benefit the people and to protect, restore and enhance the natural and human environments.

California Environmental Protection Agency. Responsible for restoring, protecting and enhancing the environment to ensure public health, environmental quality and economic vitality.

California Resources Agency. The agency restores, protects and manages the state's natural, historical and cultural resources for current and future generations.

California State Water Resource Control Board. The board's mission is to preserve, enhance and restore the quality of California's water resources -- and ensure their proper allocation and efficient use for the benefit of present and future generations\.

Water Associations

Association of California Water Agencies. From legislation, to regulatory activity, to broad policy issues, the association is on the front lines in Sacramento and in Washington, DC, as a constant and respected advocate for California’s public water agencies.

California Urban Water Conservation Council. The council works to increase efficient water use statewide through partnerships with urban water agencies, public interest organizations and private entities.

Groundwater Foundation. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to educating and motivating people to care for and about groundwater.

WateReuse Foundation. Thefoundation is an educational, nonprofit public benefit corporation that serves as a centralized organization for the water and wastewater community to advance the science of water reuse, recycling, reclamation and desalination.