Water saving: zero % two months into Stage 1 rules

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Edison announces awards for water conservation

A representative of Southern California Edison announced an award program for conserving water at this week’s council meeting. Edison owns the local water utility.

Luke Schaner, of SCE, also had some bad news: two months into Stage 1 water conservation, Avalon has saved zero water. The goal of Stage 1 is a 15% reduction in water use.

We’ll start with the award program.

Monthly water

conservation award monthly

According to Schaner, the award will be presented monthly at the Avalon City Council. The judges will be a team made up of representatives of the city, Edison, and Love Catalina (the non-profit formerly known as the Chamber of Commerce).

The winners will get a certificate from Love Catalina.

Schaner said that nominations should be emailed to catalinawater@sce.com.

Nominees may be a business, a company, a resident, or a customer. The nominees may be in Avalon or the Interior, at a business or at a home.

Nominations should describe the actions that save water; explain the work that accomplished the water conservation and describe the impact or the lessons learned or the satisfaction gained.

The nominations should also include the stage of water rationing when the conservation began. (Catalina is currently in Stage 1. This is subject to change.)

Photos are optional.

Mayor Anni Marshall asked if Edison could verify the water savings.

Schaner said they could validate the water conservation.

“We’ll do it until we run out of nominees.”

Schaner said nominees may get a small prize. The program is starting with a certificate from Love Catalina.

“I definitely encourage people to conserve,” Marshall said. “I’m hoping this has some success,” she said.

Schaner said Edison would try to build it into a productive program.

Water savings versus drought

“As of October 17, 2022 the current water elevation at Middle Ranch Reservoir is 650.18 feet above sea level. This equates to a storage capacity of 463.70 acre-feet,” according to a Tuesday, Oct. 18 email from Edison.

As of Oct. 3, the water level was put at 472.36 acre feet.

One acre foot of water is 325,851 gallons. The reservoir’s maximum capacity is 1,054 acre-ft.

“We’re at zero percent [conservation] after two months,” Schaner told the council on Oct. 18.

“We have a 15% target,” Schaner said.

He said hopefully that would be achieved in the off-season.

He said Edison is still forecasting that with persisting drought conditions Avalon will be in Stage 2 water rationing by the summer of next year.

Marshall argued that water usage would drop off as the Island goes into November. Hotels automatically shut down. She speculated that water would use off would decrease 15% because of the decrease in visitors to Catalina.

Councilmember Lisa Lavelle said it (apparently Edison) already accounts for the drop.

“I’m assuming that with the warmer weather that we’re going to see actually increased numbers,” she said.

Lavelle said she was worried that it was going to take an extra amount of conservation to reach 15% water reduction because the visitor count would be higher. She said the occupancy would be higher.

“All of those add up, right?” Lavelle asked.

“That’s a good point,” Schaner said.

As for improvements to the local desalination plant, Schaner said the project might have a February 2023 hearing before the State Lands Commission and a March hearing before the California Coastal Commission.