Water Supply on the Monterey Peninsula
The Monterey Peninsula, like most areas of the Southwestern United States, has a semi-arid climate that receives little or no rainfall from April to November. However, unlike many areas in California (such as Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco), the Monterey Peninsula has no access to imported water and is totally dependent on local rainfall for its water supply.
The Monterey Peninsula depends on two water sources that receive this local rainfall: The Carmel River, which drains a 255-square-mile watershed and run 36 miles from its source in the Santa Lucia mountains to the sea; and the Seaside Basin, which is recharged by local rain and which underlies the City of Seaside as well as parts of the former Fort Ord and Highway 68 corridor.
According to various agencies of the state and the courts, both of these sources have been over-pumped. In order to protect local species and habitats and to protect our natural resources, California American Water has been ordered to drastically reduce its pumping from the Carmel River and the Seaside Basin.
The Monterey Peninsula has the lowest per capita water consumption of any comparable community in the State of California, approximately 58 gallons per person per day.