Eastern Municipal Water District

Action/Info Item

Approve and Authorize Funds for the Rental of Portable Power Generators in the Amount Not-to-Exceed $300,000


Category:Action/Info ItemMeeting Workflows:Board O&E Committee Workflow


In early 2018, as a result of recent major wildfires in the State of California, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) created new regulations to reduce the risks associated with wildfires.  An assessment was conducted to identify the areas of highest risk throughout the state, resulting in the creation of “High Fire Threat Districts”.  These threat districts cover 44 percent of the state.  In response to the CPUC, Southern California Edison (SCE) modified its wildfire mitigation strategies to reduce the risks of wildfires associated with overhead power lines.  Some of these efforts were immediately put into place while others will take multiple years to accomplish.


One of SCE’s strategies includes modifications to its Public Safety Power Shut-off Program (PSPS).  In the event of extreme and potentially dangerous weather conditions, SCE may issue PSPS outage notifications and may ultimately turn off electrical power to essential public facilities owned and operated by Eastern Municipal Water District.


In October 2019, EMWD received three wide-spread PSPS outage notifications from SCE due to weather-related high winds.  District staff deployed and exhausted all of the District-owned portable generator assets in inventory.  Staff also secured twelve additional rental generators to augment District-owned assets.  These units were deployed to facilities identified as high priority to mitigate potential adverse impacts to the public water supply during PSPS events.


SCE’s and other investor owned utilities PSPS events have led to a shortage of available rental generators statewide.  Due to the frequency of PSPS events, and the difficulty of obtaining rentals, District staff is recommending that we continue to rent the generators that have been secured for future events with the understanding that additional units may be required for larger PSPS notifications.  The estimated cost to rent portable generators through March 2020, the current timeframe that can be anticipated to experience strong Santa Ana winds, is projected to be $300,000.

Financial/Strat Plan/Enviro


Funding for this item is provided for in the Biennial Budget for Fiscal Years 2019-20 and 2020-21.



Water System Redundancy: Develop adaptable water storage and delivery system improvements to manage uncertain delivery conditions and emergency outages.



This item is not a project as defined in the California Environmental Quality Act Code of Regulations, Title 14, Chapter 3, Section 15378.


Approve and authorize funds for the rental of portable power generators in preparation of PSPS events for the amount not-to-exceed $300,000.


Meeting History

Nov 26, 2019 3:30 PM  Board Operations and Engineering Committee Regular Meeting
draft Draft
Dec 11, 2019 9:00 AM  Board of Directors Regular Meeting
draft Draft
MOVER:Stephen J. Corona, Board Member
SECONDER:David J. Slawson, Board Member
YES:Ronald W. Sullivan, Philip E. Paule, Stephen J. Corona, David J. Slawson
ABSENT:Randy A. Record