Addressing the Santa Clarita Valley’s projected water needs through the next several decades, the Castaic Lake Water Agency, Santa Clarita Water Division and Newhall County Water District adopted the 2015 Urban Water Management Plan in a joint board meeting Wednesday held at CLWA headquarters.
The Urban Water Management Plan presents a picture of the valley’s future water situation and describes the community’s long-range water needs as well as the means to supply the necessary water to the year 2050. Every five years, water suppliers who deliver in excess of 3,000 acre feet of water or serve more than 3,000 connections per year are required by law to prepare a UWMP. Progress toward 20 percent water conservation by 2020 (in compliance with SBX7-7, the state’s Water Conservation Bill of 2009) is also included in the plan.
“The UWMP concludes that there are adequate current and future water supplies for the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Dirk Marks, CLWA water resources manager.
Keith Abercrombie, SCWD’s Retail Manager said, “We examined water demand and supplies in an average year, a dry year and for multiple dry years.”
The agencies partnered in the UWMP effort to ensure a regional collaborative planning approach. The plan is not a project-specific document, nor does it take the place of individual project requirements; rather it is a tool that helps guide local water suppliers’ actions and offers a broad perspective on a wide variety of water issues. The plan concludes that the combination of existing and planned programs to increase supply and conservation will meet the valley’s water needs through 2050.
CLWA General Manager Matt Stone said the UWMP is a detailed document that will be reviewed by the state Department of Water Resources to ensure that it covers all items that are required to be addressed under the state Water Code.
“We did a very thorough analysis,” Stone said. “The level of sophistication of water resource planning has come a long way over the past few decades. The new plan takes a detailed look at how we can supply the water our community will need. It lays out a blueprint for success through carefully managing our groundwater basin within sustainable yield, pursuing development of recycled water as it becomes available, continuing to add storage and dry year reliability to firm up our available imported water supply, and continuing to work with the community to use water efficiently.”
The creation of the 2015 UWMP occurred over the course of a year and included opportunities for input from the community, water partners, environmental groups, elected officials, business groups and other stakeholders during the three community workshops and two public hearings that were held on the plan.
NCWD General Manager Steve Cole said the UWMP process was an excellent example of collaboration among the agencies – and that collaborative spirit carried through to unanimous approval of the plan by both the NCWD and CLWA boards.
“The participating water providers really value the opportunity to hear from the public,” Cole said. “This is a public process that had plenty of valuable input and we appreciate that. The feedback we received from the community helped us prepare a strong, well-thought-out plan that thoroughly addresses the community’s water needs through the middle of the 21st century.”
The final 2015 Urban Water Management Plan will be delivered to the State Department of Water Resources by July 1, 2016. The final draft and additional amendments that were made at the recent board meetings are available for review online at www.CLWA.org and www.NCWD.org