Water on May 23 council agenda

Public hearing to look at water shortage plan

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The City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, May 23, on the city’s Water Shortage Contingency Response Ordinance. A copy of the ordinance is available for inspection (by appointment only) at the City Clerk’s Office. You can also find the home page of the city website. Just click the button that says “Water Shortage Contingency Plan and Response Ordinance.”

The hearing comes as the state faces a major drought. Residents of Catalina Island, for example, are away of the water level in their reservoir.

According to a recent notice for the public hearing (published in the May 12 issue of the Sun), the purpose of the hearing is to solicit public comments before adopting the proposed amendment to the 2020 Water Shortage Contingency Plan.

The proposed amendment to the plan is 52 pages long. It’s available on the city website.

The document spells out the details of six “standard water shortage levels” for shortages of up to 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50% and greater than 50%.

A Level 3 shortage would require a 30% reduction in the local demand for water, according to the document.

The city would declare a water supply emergency, according to the document. Businesses and residents would be notified that they need to reduce water usage so there is enough water for drinking, sanitation, and fire protection, according to the document.

“In 1983, the Orange County water community identified a need to develop a plan on how agencies would respond effectively to disasters impacting the regional water distribution system,” according to the document.

“The collective efforts of these agencies resulted in the formation of WEROC [Water Emergency Response Organization of Orange County] to coordinate emergency response on behalf of all Orange County water and wastewater agencies, develop an emergency plan to respond to disasters, and conduct disaster training exercises for the Orange County water community,” according to the document.

“In the event of an emergency which results in a catastrophic water shortage, the City will declare a water shortage condition of up to Level 6 for the impacted area depending on the severity of the event, and coordination with WEROC is anticipated to begin at Level 4 or greater,” according to the document.

Water on May 23 council agenda