Middle Ranch Reservoir level rises

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

Catalina may soon ‘exit’ Stage 1 restrictions

The local reservoir water level has risen. Avalon could soon exit Stage 1 water rationing.

Luke Schaner of Southern California Edison delivered the good news to the Tuesday, Jan. 17, City Council meeting.

Public Works Director Bob Greenlaw told the council that, for the most part, the city’s infrastructure had done well during the storm.

Readers should note, however, that the state is still in a drought.

Schaner reported the water level at Middle Ranch Reservoir at 702.66 acre feet of water.

As the Islander reported in June 2022, Stage 1 restrictions are triggered when the water level drops below 600 acre feet.

(The reservoir can hold a maximum of about 1,054 acre feet of water.)

Schaner said Edison expects the reservoir to continue “recharging” with water and for the reservoir’s water capacity to increase even without rainfall.

Schaner said Edison was preparing to file a Stage 1 exit (presumably with the California Public Utilities Commission).

Schaner also reported a December decrease in local water demand of 8-and-1/2 acre feet.

Later, Schaner said Edison was monitoring the reservoir and preparing to file an exit from Stage 1.

Mayor Anni Marshall asked what a Stage 1 exit meant.

According to Schaner, when the water level reaches 750 to 800 acre feet, that is when Edison would put pen to paper to request removal of the system from Stage 1 water restrictions.

In other water news, Schaner said that the State Lands Commission hearing on upgrading the desalination plant had been postponed to April. That change moved the California Coastal Commission hearing for the project to May.