New desal plant will support the Catalina water supply
Like the rest of Southern California, Catalina Island has been in the grip of a historic drought for the last several years. Residents and visitors alike have worked together to address Catalina’s dwindling water supplies. Restaurants have stopped serving water on request – in fact bottled water is the only option available. Hotels have encouraged guests to reuse towels. And nearly everyone is taking shorter showers, checking for leaks and reducing their water usage where ever and whenever possible. Thanks to those dedicated efforts — which have resulted in a nearly 40 percent reduction in water use from the Catalina water supply — the need for more drastic measures has been averted.
Cooperation between the City of Avalon, the County of Los Angeles and Southern California Edison, Catalina Island has recently resulted in another step back from the catastrophic drought. An additional desalination plant was recently installed at Pebbly Beach. While the new plant won’t meet all of Catalina Island’s water needs, it will significantly supplement the island’s water supplies when it comes on line.
Even with the desalination plant, Catalina Island will still be susceptible to the uncertainties of Southern California rainfall. Ensuring that fresh water supplies will available for residents, visitors and the unique flora and fauna of the island will require cooperation and conservation.