CIVR Blog: Catalina Facing Drought

water conservation

Facing drought on Santa Catalina Island

When Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, he didn’t have drought on a small island in mind, but “Water, water everywhere; nor any drop to drink” has long been a way of life on Santa Catalina Island.

Rainfall in Southern California has always been a chancy proposition and drought is a frequent threat. Even with a desalination plant available to meet about a third of the island’s needs, Catalina Island’s residents practice water conservation even when Mother Nature is generous with rain.

Average rainfall in Southern California is about 14 inches – a few years with less than average rainfall leads to a deficit that can be particularly hard-hitting on an island. Avalon, Catalina’s only city, is currently facing water rationing due to the diminishing amount of water in the island’s main reservoir.  While most visitors won’t see much of a difference, your contribution to conservation will be much appreciated. A few things you can do:

·         Shut off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving

·         Only run the washing machine or dish washer for full loads

·         Water is not served automatically in restaurants; only order it if you’re going to drink it

With visitors and residents working together, Catalina Island will be able to weather this regular weather challenge.

1 reply
  1. Bud Hohl
    Bud Hohl says:

    ID like to know more about the water catch basins throughout the island and wells at those locations. Is there any site that I can go to that would have aquafier capacities, hydrology findings, and future plans for increasing ground water retention. Thank you

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