Agency Selects Contractors to Build Desalination Pipeline

California American Water has selected three firms to construct nearly 22 miles of pipeline for the delivery of desalinated water
Agency Selects Contractors to Build Desalination Pipeline
Rendering of the proposed desal plant. (photo courtesy of California American Water)

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California American Water has selected three firms to construct approximately 22 miles of pipeline, pump stations and storage facilities that will deliver desalinated water to the company’s 100,000 residential and commercial customers on the Monterey Peninsula as part of the proposed Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project.

Garney Pacific, Mountain Cascade and Monterey Peninsula Engineering ranked highest on combined technical and business criteria and provided the lowest cost estimates on the components for which they were selected. There were a total of six respondents to a request for proposals (RFP), which was issued in August.

“Awarding the pipeline work to three firms provides advantages in terms of both schedule and cost,” says California American Water’s engineering manager Ian Crooks. “With these firms on board in addition to the contracts we’ve already executed with CDM Constructors for the desalination facility and Boart Longyear for the source wells, we have a great team in place to construct the project.”

Garney Pacific is part of Garney Construction, one of the nation’s leading contractors in water and wastewater systems. The company was ranked number one in both water supply and water transmission projects by Engineering News-Record (ENR) in 2014 and has received numerous awards for its work including the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2015 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award of Merit.

Monterey Peninsula Engineering is a family-owned business, which since 1980, has provided a full range of engineering and construction services in the greater Monterey Bay area, including underground utilities, grading, paving and general site work.

Mountain Cascade has over a century of experience with a diverse range of water projects and is one of the largest and most competitive pipeline contractors in the region, bringing experience and innovation to challenging projects.

California American Water will provide the statements of qualifications (SOQs) and proposals it received, along with its evaluation report and draft contracts to the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project Governance Committee, which will conduct its own review and make further recommendations on the award of these contracts, valued at approximately $92 million.

The Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project is intended to replace the local community’s current reliance on the Carmel River as its primary source of water supply. The Water Supply Project will include either a 9.6 million gallons per day desalination plant or a 6.4 mgd desalination plant with 3.2 mgd advanced treated recycled water from Pure Water Monterey, a groundwater replenishment project (GWR).

California American Water now has firm bids in hand for all the major components of the project. While the pipeline and conveyance facility bids were higher than expected, overall, the costs for the 9.6 mgd desalination plant are still within the overall project budget and in the range of the cost estimate California American Water provided to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in November 2013. Many elements are still subject to price reductions through value engineering. The value engineering efforts for the wells, pipeline and conveyance facilities are expected to take place during the first half of 2016.

“The updated overall costs for the larger desalination project option are in line with expectations,” Crooks says. “For the smaller desalination plant and GWR combination, it appears that without significant grant contributions the economics on this option could be challenging. We will be working with Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District between now and the next CPUC testimony milestone in January 2016 to attempt to narrow this gap.”

The SOQs, proposals and evaluation report will be posted to the project’s website,, where more information on the project can be found, including the latest news and updates.

About California American Water
California American Water, a subsidiary of American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE: AWK), provides high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 600,000 people. Founded in 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest and most geographically diverse, publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, New Jersey, the company employs 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found at


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