Edison seeks new water sources

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As the thought of 50 percent water rationing looms over the Island, Southern California Edison has begun drafting ideas to help alleviate the water needs going into the next stage of water reduction.
At this week’s City Council meeting, Edison presented various short and long term solutions that would help offset the need to cut the Island’s water usage in half.

As the thought of 50 percent water rationing looms over the Island, Southern California Edison has begun drafting ideas to help alleviate the water needs going into the next stage of water reduction.
At this week’s City Council meeting, Edison presented various short and long term solutions that would help offset the need to cut the Island’s water usage in half.
Though there is still not an official word on what Edison plans on moving forward, Jeff Lawrence, project manager with Edison, made it clear that the options being looked at could be implemented by Labor Day.
“(Edison) is not in a position to make any promises,” said Lawrence.
“We’ve worked through various timeline and schedules. We could potentially have a contingent water line implemented by eight to 10 weeks,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence and the Edison team looked at options that could provide 200 acre feet of water a year, or 180,000 gallons of water a day, which would maintain stage two rationing.
One of the viable options mentioned included importing water through a barge or a bladder that could be moored at Pebbly Beach.
A temporary mooring station would have to be built and the water stored there could be offloaded by a temporary pipeline, which would have the potential to pump 1,000 gallons of water a minute when demand rises.
This idea was well received by residents in attendance but the only criticism was why the city isn’t doing something like this already.
Resident Kathleen Carlisle said during the meeting that the city shouldn’t wait until three months down the road to implement something like this because it could immediately increase water storage on the Island.
Another viable option was to upgrade the reverse osmosis units at the existing desalination plant but that was considered a long term plan.
That was coupled with installing a portable reverse osmosis unit either at the Pebbly Beach plant or at the Sea Water ponds near the Baker tanks.
The new unit would have the potential to produce 150,000 to 300,000 gallons of water per day.
If installed at Pebbly Beach, the new unit would recycle the discharge from the existing desalination plant, which could result in over 200,000 gallons of water produced a day.
Parallel to finding alternative water sources are Edison’s efforts to foster funding for the projects.
Lawrence didn’t give a specific number at how much an alternative water source could cost but he had a rough estimate of around $2.2 million.
Edison attended a workshop for prop 84, which was a bond act from 2006 that allocated over $5 billion to fund safe drinking water, water quality, and water conservation efforts.
Edison hopes to be included as a member of the gateway that could potentially provide 75 percent of funds for projects on the Island.
They are also involved in applying for funds under Prop 1, which was a bond act authorizing $7.12 billion for state water supply infrastructure projects.
If Edison is accepted, they could receive up to 35 percent of funds for projects to help mitigate the drought.
Edison came to the meeting with all their bases covered as they presented a thorough report, and the council noticed that.
“I appreciate that you have a full list of contingency programs,” said Councilman Joe Sampson. “We got to lift people’s spirits around here.”
City Manager Ben Harvey also expressed appreciation for the thoroughness but said the time is now to start getting down to specifics.
“I’d like to see a detailed project plan that is monetized, now,” said Harvey. “I’m very concerned with the time it takes to implement anything around here.”
Along with searching for new water sources, Lawrence said that residents had to continue their saving efforts on the island.
“If we are successful in this summer and we don’t hit that 200 acre foot mark, then we could push back stage three to spring or fall of next year,” said Lawrence.
“Another alternative is changing the percent of rationing. Fifty percent is in our tariffs now,” said Lawrence.
“If we could provide water rationing with different percentage because of studies then we will definitely pursue that,” Lawrence said.
This is all speculative and just a forecast at the moment and Southern California Edison is still projecting stage three water rationing in October.
This summer’s efforts will shape the future for Avalon’s water supply.
As of May 7, the water level at the Middle Ranch Reservoir is at 257 acre feet.

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