The Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee recently held a special hearing to discuss the impacts public safety power shutoffs have on California residents, businesses and governments. During the hearing, the Senate heard testimony from a variety of witnesses, including representatives from PG&E, Southern California Edison, community service providers and local governments. Dave Pedersen, General Manager of Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, testified about the impacts of shutoff events on water and wastewater utilities.
Pedersen testified about the importance of communications, operational impacts, and financial impacts to agencies during public safety shutoff events and offered several detailed recommendations for the Committee to consider for action in the upcoming 2020 legislative session. His testimony drew on LVMWD’s extensive experience with managing water and wastewater service during multiple shutoff events. The District gained crucial experience dealing with catastrophic wildfire conditions during the 2018 Woolsey Fire.
The California Department of Water Resources has reached out to CASA to learn about the impacts of recent drought on wastewater conveyance and treatment as part of a statutorily required study of the indoor residential water use standards set in 2018’s water conservation legislation, AB 1668 and SB 606. A summary of the study is available here.
To assist DWR in accurately assessing how changing standards and lower flows impact wastewater infrastructure, operations, and recycled water systems, CASA has engaged several of our members with experience assisting in similar research. DWR is now working directly with Central Marin Sanitation Agency, City of Roseville, City of Fresno, Orange County Sanitation District, Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District, SOCWA & Moulton Niguel Water District, Union Sanitary District and West Bay Sanitary District.