Edison, city and state officials talk about water supply

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On Wednesday, March 8, Mayor Anni Marshall, Councilwoman Cinde Cassidy, the city manager, and city attorney met with local and corporate SCE representatives at City Hall by the head of the Water Division of the California Public Utilities Commission, Raminder Kahlon. Also in attendance was Arturo Salacies and Marisol Barajas from Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell’s Office. The assemblyman and his staff have taken an active interest in this matter. The meeting lasted two and 1/2 hours.

On Wednesday, March 8, Mayor Anni Marshall, Councilwoman Cinde Cassidy, the city manager, and city attorney met with local and corporate SCE representatives at City Hall by the head of the Water Division of the California Public Utilities Commission, Raminder Kahlon. Also in attendance was Arturo Salacies and Marisol Barajas from Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell’s Office. The assemblyman and his staff have taken an active interest in this matter. The meeting lasted two and 1/2 hours. An open and frank discussion was held on fresh water supply issues for Avalon that can be best summarized below:

• Edison has produced the fresh water production data from Avalon’s two desalination units, effective June 1, 2016 and will provide monthly production numbers to the City.

• Edison will present its capital infrastructure program proposal for fresh water sustainability in Avalon to the City Council in the near future. That program will include new wells and storage that is necessary for fresh water sustainability. City staff and water experts want to review the proposed plan in advance of it being presented to the City Council to evaluate its effectiveness in meeting year-round fresh water needs.

Once Edison presents its capital infrastructure program, the city will resume participating in meetings concerning grant funding opportunities that improve the Avalon fresh water system.

Edison has not agreed to make any changes to the tariff (water rationing rules) due to the supply of fresh water that can be produced from the existing desalinization plants as they indicate that there is enough flexibility in the current tariff to take into account production if the plants. The city believes that the tariff should be revised to take into account the availability of water that can be produced. The CPUC will not force Edison to revise its tariff at this time, but would of course evaluate the matter fairly if a formal request to the CPUC was made by the city or community. The city and Edison will work on an agreement for the additional $500,000 funding from the County of Los Angeles to pay for the second desalination unit.

This payment and the previous $500,000 contributed by the city will reduce the burden on city rate payers to pay for the newest desalination unit. The goal of this meeting and future meetings is to arrive at agreement on what is the best way, timeline, and cost for improvements to be made to the Avalon fresh water system to ensure a sustainable supply on a year-round basis.

This agreement will also result in City Council support for State and Federal grant funds to help defray the costs of needed capital improvements. Creating a sustainable fresh water year-round supply is the City’s primary goal. The City Council’s focus is first and foremost to address water supply issues in the City limits and then to address other system-wide issues.

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