After a nine-month procurement process, California American Water (CAW) selected CDM Constructors, Inc. (CDM) to design and build the desalination facility, which is part of the $320-million Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project. CDM ranked highest of the four finalists on a business, technical and price evaluation. CDM’s bid of $86 million was the lowest of the four proposals ranging from $90-$110 million.

“All four firms had some great technical concepts and innovations, but CDM’s proposal scored highest overall in our team’s ranking criteria,” said CAW Vice President of Engineering Rich Svindland.

CDM is a wholly-owned, design-build and general construction subsidiary of CDM Smith, which has completed more than 35 international desalination projects throughout the world and seven in California, including the Sand City desalination facility and the Pebble Beach Company’s reclamation project.

In a CAW press release, CDM Smith Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hickox stated, “The project provides a forward-thinking and environmentally sensitive approach to solving a very serious water supply shortage. We understand the time constraints and have the capability to deliver the desalination project the Monterey Peninsula community needs.”

“This is a major step toward solving the Monterey Peninsula’s water supply issue,” said CAW President Rob MacLean. “This procurement has brought the most reputable desalination experts in the world to the table to compete in what has been a professional and thorough process. The residents of the Monterey Peninsula will have the opportunity to review our selection criteria via the Governance Committee’s public examination.”

The public Governance Committee charged with oversight of the project voted unanimously in favor of CAWs recommended choice of CDM as the lead contractor. Carmel Mayor Jason Burnett, who represents the Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority, called the approval an “incredibly important decision for the future of water on the Peninsula.”

The committee stipulated three main conditions, including a requirement that CDM and CAW guarantee quality assurance oversight, commit to meeting the county’s 50 percent local hiring policy on every aspect of the project and specify the actual savings of eliminating pre-filtration treatment if it is not needed. MacLean accepted the conditions on behalf of CAW.

The California Public Utilities Commission is currently reviewing CAW’s application for the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project and is scheduled to make a ruling by August of 2014. Project updates can be found at

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