Catalina Island is bracing for mandatory water rationing beginning August 11th. It will be a 25% cut in what customers normally get. This could be a challenge for some. We spent some time in the kitchen of Steve Bray's Maggies Blue Rose Restaurant. He caught a dishwasher cleaning 5 plates in a machine that uses a lot of water for each cleaning. We overheard him say to the worker “we have a problem right here. We have a water shortage!"
The problem for Steve Bray, whose trying to get his kitchen staff to be more efficient with water, and everyone else on this island is that Catalina is having a serious issue with the drought. It's so bad that starting August 11th there will be 25% mandatory water rationing and fines. First time a written warning. A second incident A $200 fee and controlling one's water with a flow restricting device for at least 3 days. Third offense another $200 fee and that flow restriction device stays.
There is so much water around this island you might wonder how much can be used for things like dishwashing. Using a desalination process about 20%. Bill Delain says the other 80% comes from "a series of deep water wells and reservoirs. Ground water," he says, "Is essentially the primary source of drinking water.
Randy Harrel is the CEO of the Santa Catalina Island Company – the islands biggest land owner. They have hotels and restaurants and are trying to step up conservation before the stricter rationing kicks in. Says Harrel, “using more efficient dishwashers, which we have" will help. "We think we can meet those requirements. Worse case, we’ll use plastic cups and paper plates.”) (Randy Harrel/CEO Santa Catalina Island Company)
Even locals get it and are thinking about what to do and what they won't be able to do. "We're gonna have to do less laundry," says Nikki Schutz who lives on the Island." And, we'll have to " take shorter showers, not wash the golf cart and not hose down the patios." Local Karen Fetteroll says "we’ve been getting cases and cases of bottled water. We’re doing everything we can.”
Bottomline, says Steve Bray, “we're gonna overcome it, but we have to conserve water and we have to ask everyone to conserve water too.”.
The new rationing starts on Catalina Island August 11th.