Posts Tagged ‘Southern California Edison’

The Thompson Reservoir Level as of Wednesday, Nov. 20, is 399 acre-feet.

This was not good news by any means. As anyone who reads this blog knows, mandatory by-the-gallon water rationing will begin when the water level drops to 300 acre feet. An acre foot is enough water to cover an acre of land 1-foot deep.

As I told you last week, the water level measured 405 acre feet on Thursday, Nov. 7 and on Thursday, Oct. 31.

Back in August, a Southern California Edison representative said Avalon could go into Stage 2 (by-the-gallon) water rationing in January.

I actually think that at the current rate of the reservoir’s decline, Avalon might see strict rationing a bit later than that—in February or March. But I’m afraid Avalon residents must brace themselves for a few challenging months. Catalina has endured drought before and will endure drought again. It isn’t fair and it isn’t anyone’s fault. But it is a reality that Avalon must face.

If you read this week’s Catalina Islander, you know that it is quite likely all Southern California Edison electricity customers will help to foot the bill for improvements to Catalina’s drinking water system. At 9 cents a month, the increase will ruin no one’s life, cost no jobs on the mainland, ruin no businesses.

Yet I expect some mainlanders will object on genera principal.

We’d like to know what you think about this. Is it really fair to ask people who do not live on the Island to help pay for Island utilities?

Congratulations, Ben Harvey, on becoming Avalon’s new city manager.

I’ve worked with Harvey in my capacity as a reporter and his capacity as region manager, public affairs, for Southern California Edison and I’ve always found him to be one of the best professional spokesmen I’ve dealt with. I’d be shocked if he proved any less skilled as a city manager.

You can’t live without water or money—unless you’re a hermit with good hunting/fishing skills.

As I reported in this week’s Islander, the water rate issue has not yet been decided. Here’s my take on it, for whatever it is worth.

As a mainland resident, I can’t say I jumped for joy when I first heard the proposal that mainland electricity users help pay for Catalina’s fresh water.

However, I can’t see how Island residents can possible foot the bill that they would be looking at, even if they have to pay it over a three-year period. A t0-year incremental payment plan might be possible, but I don’t know if Southern California Edison can wait that long. Time is as important to a company’s bottom line as cashflow and productivity. Edison is entitled to make a profit if they can do so legally.

And Edison officials certainly don’t want to bankrupt the Island. A bankrupt customer can’t buy anything.

If I were brilliant enough to have a solution, I’d offer it. I’m not that smart.

Usually, a reporter shouldn’t cover a story if he has a stake in it. In this case, it isn’t possible to avoid being involved. If I lived on the Island, I’d have a vested interest in the water bill. As a mainland electricity user, I have a vested interest in the outcome. The only person who could cover this story without having a stake in it would be a resident of another state.

For what it is worth, I could probably endure a small bump in my electric bill far better than an Islander could endure a large bump in his or her water bill. All I can say is, I hope all parties to the negotiations realize that their interests are intertwined.

Always a pleasure,
Charles