“Water, water every where, nor any drop to drink.” These words were written in 1797 by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in his epic poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”
They might well apply to our beautiful drought stricken island surrounded by a glistening salt water sea. However, the Santa Catalina Island Company is taking major steps to see that it doesn’t happen to Avalon in particular or the Island as a whole.
In the Santa Catalina Island Company’s planning of several new projects, fresh water has been a major consideration for the Company, not only to reduce usage but to actually have their water allotment remain below its current allocation. By conscientiously practicing the “Water Wise” theme of Southern California Edison, the Island Company, with the expert help of Valley Crest, hopes to take the lead in conserving water through its installation of “smart” devices that measure water content in the soil and by converting spray irrigation nozzles to drip valves to eliminate waste of landscaping water. These water-saving changes will still meet the needs of these new project facilities and continue to offer the lovely landscaping that our visitors and community enjoy. “By responding responsibly to the seriousness of the drought, the company feels that the various water saving steps being taken is not only good for the organization, but for the community as well. It is the right thing to do,” said Randy Herrel, President and CEO of the Santa Catalina Island Company.
Should Avalon go into the second phase of water rationing, which mandates a 25% further reduction, the Island Company will have already lowered its water usage, including the new projects coming on line, by that amount, which means it’s ongoing and new businesses will not be affected.
While the “smart” devices represent a substantial investment for the company they are important in that they can detect the actual need for water in all landscaped areas. Most of the Company’s landscaping, including the golf course turf, is drought resistant, and the golf course uses an older, non-potable, briny, off-line water well on the site itself (many, many miles away from Thompson’s Reservoir) to keep the course in good condition.
The Descanso Beach Club
will also be using “smart” water conservation devices and drip irrigation for the majority of its landscape which is expected to result in at least 30% water use reduction. The new kitchen there will feature low flow faucets, and other water saving devices that will eliminate waste including that resulting from the older plumbing.
SCE is encouraged that community leaders, such as the Island Company, have taken very pro-active steps to reduce water usage, especially in light of additional stages of water rationing possibly having to be implemented. SCE is actively working with the Island Company to confirm both existing water usage and any savings that have already been realized from its new initiatives. The company’s leadership in this area should provide an example for others to follow, and Edison stands ready to assist all others in this regard.