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Water Availability

Water Availability Status

Due to the Monterey Peninsula's limited water resources, the City of Monterey does not have water credits available for allocation. All private property development that requires a water permit is limited to the water credits associated with the specific site.

The Monterey Peninsula's water provider, the California American Water Company (Cal Am), continues to pursue the development of a new water source. When additional water will be available for allocation to individual properties is uncertain at this time. The City of Monterey has and will continue to work with other peninsula jurisdictions, Cal Am, and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District to help advance future water supply opportunities. 

The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District is available to answer your water credit questions and assist property owners with their water conservation efforts. You can contact them at or by phone at (831) 658-5601.


Frequently Asked Questions

What water limitations are there within the City for new and remodeling projects?

Applicants submitting projects within the City must be aware that before building permits can be issued for projects requiring additional water, that the applicant must have (a) valid water permit from the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District. Before a water permit can be obtained from the District, a water allocation must be approved by the City. Due to a lack of water available for allocation, the City of Monterey currently has three water waiting lists that the Planning Division maintains: the New Residential Water Waiting List, Residential Remodel Water Waiting List, and Commercial/Industrial Water Waiting List. Please contact the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District to determine if there are adequate water credits running with your property to accommodate the new plumbing fixtures or new construction.

Can I add another bathroom to my home?

The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD) has adopted Ordinance 98, which allows a SFD on a single parcel to obtain the water credits necessary to accommodate a second full bath without having to obtain a water allocation from the jurisdiction within which it is located. Therefore, the Planning Division can sign-off on MPWMD Residential Water Release Form and Water Request Applications. Ordinance 98 and this form allows a property owner to request water credits to support a second full bath without having to deduct a like amount of water from the City's reserve. Please note that if the home has 1 and ½ baths, then the owners can add a maximum of ½ a bath. The maximum number of bathrooms for a SFD on a single parcel under Ordinance 98 is 2 full baths, and that includes a Master Bath.

What constitutes a master bath?

An applicant can label one bathroom as a master bath when he or she submits plans to the Planning Division or Building Division. A single dwelling with one bath can designate the one bath as a Master Bath. If there is more than one bath in a single family dwelling, only one Master Bath can be so designated.

Can I have two sinks in my master bath?

The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD) allows a maximum of 2 sinks in a Master Bath, with the first sink having a water requirement of 1 unit, and the second with a 0 unit water requirement. They also allow a separate shower and bathtub in a Master Bath, the water requirement being 2 units for both, whereas a standard bathroom can have a combination bathtub with shower head above with 2 units, but if separate, then would require a total of 4 units, (2 for bathtub and 2 for shower).

Can I retrofit old fixtures and get additional water?

Yes, if the building is a residential structure, you may be able to retrofit existing plumbing fixtures. The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD) allows the exchange of existing standard type plumbing fixtures with Ultra Low Flow type fixtures, with the water usage savings applied to the installation of new plumbing fixtures. There are restrictions associated with this program, and the type of fixtures available for retrofitting are limited. Please call the MPWMD or the City of Monterey Planning Division for more information.

How do I contact the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District?

The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD) Permit's Office is located at 5 Harris Court, Building G / PO Box 85 within the Ryan Ranch complex. You can visit their Web site, or or call their office directly at 831.658.5601.