Local water conservation at 4%. Goal is 15%

An acre foot of water is enough water to submerge 1 acre of flat land one foot deep in water. The illustration above compares an acre foot of water to a football field. Artwork courtesy Catalina Islander staff

An Edison representative told the City Council this week that Catalina’s current water conservation is at 4%.

Luke Schaner, of Southern California Edison, which owns the local water utility, said this was short of the 15% goal.

Avalon only recently entered Stage 1 water conservation.

Schaner said Edison believes the 15% goal can be achieved.

Based on current data, Catalina could experience Stage 2 in the summer of 2023.

He also updated the council on the Island desalination plant output. According to one of the slides he showed the council, the 12-month production level had created 221.8 acre feet of water.

(Editor’s note: That’s more than 72,273,739 gallons of water. The Islander rounded the figure.)

According to Schaner, this was the most water the desalination plant had produced in a 12-month period.

Schaner told the council that the next time he gave them an update, he would have more information about the water restrictions, officially called “tarrifs.”

Mayor Anni Marshall asked about using door hangers to distribute information about water conservation.

Schaner said Edision was looking at distirbuting hangers with English on one side and Spanish on the other side in the coming months.

Councilmember Lisa Lavelle said she thought it was time Avalon started actively pursing “gray water” as a requirement for new housing or upgraded housing.

Gray water “is water from showers, tubs, bathroom sinks, and clothes washers. Gray water does not include sewage,” according to the Sierra Club Los Angeles Chapter website.

Lavelle asked staff and Edison to look at not only using gray water, but also moving away from salt water, which she said causes so many issues of maintenance and corrosiveness.

Schaner said Edison appreciated her bringing that up and would move that up on the priority list.