The Cambrian

Corps sets water plan meeting

Cambria Community Services District and the Army Corps of Engineers will present an update on water supply options it is working on and take public comment at a workshop meeting Thursday, June 14, Cambria Community Services District announced late Tuesday, June 5.

Army Corps staff members “will review the various water supply concepts being developed, as well as evaluation criteria that the engineers are currently developing,” according to Bob Gresens, district engineer. The Army Corps engineering team and a facilitator will be present, he added.

The Army Corps, in cooperation with the district, is working on developing a project to ensure a reliable water supply for Cambria. Alternatives include seawater desalination, local and imported surface water, groundwater, hard rock drilling and seasonal reservoir storage.

Conservation and recycling have also been studied by the district, and some programs implemented, as part of Cambria’s overall water supply package.

The Corps is currently working on environmental reports on water supply alternatives. In February, the Corps said it expected to release a draft of that document in September.

The upcoming meeting is complementary to but not directly part of that environmental review process, Gresens said. He noted that questions were raised about the project selection criteria in the district’s 2008 programmatic environmental impact report (an overall look at the water supply development process, not a look any specific project).

“Hopefully we can go a little further than we did in the past do a better job of public outreach,” Gresens said, “about how we compare (the proposed projects), what criteria we use to compare them what goes into the matrix before it just shows up in a report.”

The meeting will discuss criteria used to choose between project projects, including upfront capital costs and ongoing operational costs.

The district has also scheduled another workshop for July 19. The purpose of that meeting will be to rank the projects, using criteria shaped in part by next week’s meeting.

Discussions at both meetings will focus on engineering aspects of potential projects, Gresens said; environmental evaluations will be part of the ongoing environmental study and incorporated into the eventual report.

Next week’s meeting begins at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 14, at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St. It’s expected to last two to three hours.

No response to an email from The Cambrian to the Army Corps requesting more information about the meeting was received prior to press time.

NOTE: An earlier version of this article erroneously said the meeting was called by the Army Corps of Engineers. It was actually called by CCSD, which initially said the Corps would lead the meeting, not that it had called it.