Edison to help enforce local drought rules

File art.

By Charles M. Kelly

The City Council this week discussed water conservation. Essentially, council directed staff to work with Southern California Edison, which owns the local water utility, to enforce Catalina drought regulations.

Luke Schaner, of Southern California Edison, said the California Public Utilities Commission had authorized State 1 water conservation. (An Aug. 2 staff report said the same thing, using a slightly different term.) He said during this stage, people must abide by 15 restrictions. For details, members of the public can find a PDF with the restrictions spelled out at accessible@SCE.com/Catalina.

Mayor Anni Marshall said the city met with Edison on Monday, Aug. 1. She said Edison favored taking over enforcement of the restrictions.

“The did indicate that, initially, they would be in an education and warning phase as compared to a citation phase and then move on to citations if [there are] repeat offenders,” said City Manager David Maistros.

Marshall asked if at some point the council would have to look at removing the related chapter of the city code.

Maistros said the city didn’t necessarily have to take action. He said Edison’s regulations are slightly different from the city’s regulations, but they wouldn’t go behind the city code.

Background

Avalon is now in Stage One of water conservation. According to the California government’s drought website, this is the third year of a severe drought. “And it’s only getting worse: 2022 had the driest January, February, and March in over 100 years,” according to drought.ca.gov.

“The California Public Utility Commission has authorized SCE [Southern California Edison] to begin Phase One water conservation as outlined in Rule 14.1 of the tariff effective July 10, 2022,” according to the staff report by Administrative Analyst and Deputy City Clerk Devin Hart.

“SCE has indicated they would be interested in overseeing much of the responsibility of enforcement of this ordinance, including hiring personnel to ensure compliance,” Hart wrote.

“Staff recommends allowing SCE to work in partnership with Code Enforcement,” Hart wrote.

According to Hart’s report, the council in 2001 adopted an urgency ordinance establishing emergency conservation measures that would be implemented when SCE began Phase One conservation.

Edison to help enforce local drought rules