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January 28
1850 - Death Valley '49er William Robinson dies in Soledad Canyon from drinking too much cool water [story]
Leaving Death Valley


castaiclakedrought33percent021915clwaMembers of the Santa Clarita Valley Water Committee are putting their heads together as they strive to develop a consensus on how the SCV can best meet the state’s most recent water conservation mandates and ensure compliance with state restrictions on water use.

“This is all about developing a cohesive strategy, while still recognizing that each of the valley’s water suppliers faces its own unique set of challenges and circumstances,” said Mauricio Guardado, Chair of the SCV Water Committee and Retail Manager of the Castaic Lake Water Agency’s Santa Clarita Water Division. “We’re working toward a common general approach to enforcement and achieving compliance, but each of the water retailers will adopt its own specific measures.”

Regarding enforcement, the water retailers entered today’s session with a general sense of agreement on one basic principle: They don’t want to issue fines, but if they have to, they will.

“Our approach has and continues to be education first. That is our primary role as local water providers,” said Steve Cole, General Manager of the Newhall County Water District. “But this drought is serious, so we must collectively step up our enforcement efforts as a region. That includes potential fines for those who are consistently out of compliance with State law.”

watersuppliersLast summer, the Water Committee — whose members include the four local water retailers, the Castaic Lake Water Agency, and city and county representatives — took the first step in that direction by agreeing on an action plan that prohibits water-wasting activities such as over-irrigation that causes runoff and washing down driveways and sidewalks, and imposed an odd-even system of irrigation days. The four retailers each then enacted their own specific conservation measures consistent with the agreed-upon action plan.

A similar process is under way now, with the Water Committee meeting today to address the state’s latest actions restricting water use.

As California’s record-setting drought continues through a fourth consecutive dry year, Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order in April calling for mandatory water conservation by all residents. The Governor directed that additional immediate actions be taken to conserve water supplies. In response, on May 5 the State Water Resources Control Board amended its emergency regulations to achieve a 25 percent reduction in overall potable urban water use statewide.

The emergency state regulation prohibits additional activities such as irrigating after it rains and mandates how much each water retailer’s customers must conserve. To achieve the statewide 25 percent urban water use reduction, the state adopted a nine-tiered system requiring water suppliers to achieve conservation levels ranging from 8 percent to 36 percent, with 2013 serving as the baseline year. Those suppliers with higher per capita water use were assigned higher conservation mandates.

waterhose copyIn the SCV, the three largest retailers’ requirements are 24 percent for the Valencia Water Co., 28 percent for the Newhall County Water District and 32 percent for SCWD. Los Angeles County’s Waterworks District 36, which serves about 1,300 connections in Val Verde, is required to either achieve a 25 percent reduction or restrict irrigation to no more than twice per week under the state’s requirements that apply to small water suppliers serving less than 3,000 connections.

Keith Abercrombie, General Manager of Valencia Water Co., said, “The SCV Water Committee today is developing the blueprint for regulations that the retailers will individually enact in the days and weeks ahead. Along with enforcing prohibitions on water-wasting activities, the water retailers will be calling on their customers to aggressively conserve water; otherwise the water retailers will be subject to fines assessed by the State Water Resources Control Board of up to $10,000 per day.”

Each of the retailers will be developing the means to incentivize individual customer conservation. Because most of the water in the Santa Clarita Valley is used for outdoor irrigation, decisive action is needed now to reduce high summer water demand. Otherwise, achieving the conservation mandates will become impossible.

“All of the local water suppliers and their ratepayers have one big thing in common: We’re all being asked to do more, perhaps much more, to help ensure that California gets through this drought with its water supply intact,” Abercrombie said. “While we’re fortunate here in the SCV to have a diverse water supply portfolio and a significant amount of water in reserve, this drought is serious business for everyone in California, and the Governor expects all the state’s residents to comply.”

 

Information on each agency’s water conservation efforts, along with water-saving tips, can be found online at:

 

  • Castaic Lake Water Agency: clwa.org
  • Newhall County Water District: ncwd.org
  • Santa Clarita Water Division: santaclaritawater.com
  • Valencia Water Company: valenciawater.com

 

 

 

About the SCV Water Committee:

The Santa Clarita Valley Water Committee, formerly known as the SCV Drought Committee, was formed in 2008 to bring multiple agencies together to jointly respond to drought conditions in the Santa Clarita Valley. The committee meets regularly to monitor water supply conditions and prepare actions that may need to be taken in the event of drought. Its members include Castaic Lake Water Agency, the City of Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County and the four local water purveyors: Los Angeles County Waterworks District No. 36, Newhall County Water District, Santa Clarita Water Division and Valencia Water Company.

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32 Comments

  1. Steven Craig Steven Craig says:

    My grass is dead but the school across the street and the shopping center up the street water for long periods of time every night. Both have EXTREME runoff and nobody says a word to them.

  2. Ken Clark Ken Clark says:

    What about the golf courses?

  3. I’ve used the SCV water reporting site for several business I’ve seen wasting water and basically watering the streets and after 3 weeks there is no change. Those same business are still wasting water. But homeowners are being fined and harassed to stop wasting water?!?

  4. Pete Bland Pete Bland says:

    Start by penalizing the businesses and city for wasting water and watering on the rare days it has rained…frustrating!

  5. The population of california uses 15% of the state’s water. Obviously mandated water reduction by this 15% will solve the drought, no need to address the agricultural sector that uses 80% of California’s water. Say good bye to liberty, and bring on the rations of resources

  6. Jeff Golf Jeff Golf says:

    Then WHY are they addiing more plants to Soledad, this is crazy, they need to add more lanes to acoomodate the new construction

  7. Kurt Buck Kurt Buck says:

    They need to build more houses and apartments here. That’ll fix it. And landscape the medians.

  8. We’ve made a concerted effort to save water everywhere we can. Our bill reflects our effort. Our grass is still green watering 3xa week,and we put in an irrigation system for 13 trees. Shorter showers. Brush teeth with water off,rinse dishes in a lg bowl and then give the dirty water to a bush. None of this feel like water deprivation. We haven’t given up ice either. I think everyone should just try and then report blatant waste, til they stop.

  9. I love the folks screaming about loss of liberty and stuff. Classic.

  10. Meanwhile it’s pouring outside

  11. I’ve been conserving water for years. Can’t use any less water than I do.

  12. Skyblue Mesa school had its sprinklers on today. In the rain. Smh

  13. Tell them to stick it. Tell Jerry Brown if he has trillions of gallons of water for the Delta Smelt instead of his dad’s aqueduct system the he should pay the first fine. Our Governor is a hypocrite idiot and these fines aren’t to curb wasting water. It another California tax to rip off working Californians.

  14. Donn Miller Donn Miller says:

    Who about reporting all the Hollywood celebrity losers with their nice green lawn. Oh wait, they run the state.

  15. Dan OConnell says:

    I’ve been conserving since last summer and, last year, replaced all my real real grass with synthetic grass. My water consumption from January thru April is down to 1/3 of what it was a year ago during the same time period. After all this concern, effort and expense, I am mystified as to all the new single-family development planned for Santa Clarita Valley. I’m not sure how our various governments can tell us we’re in a ten-alarm emergency water-saving situation when they are allowing new development at an enormous rate that seems to have no limits. If we existing residents are forced to cut way back on water due to an emergency situation, shouldn’t this same attitude carry over to new development? Shouldn’t the government be halting new development because of our state of emergency?

    • SCVNews.com says:

      That’s an interesting question and one we hear frequently. Truth is, local government agencies (city, county) don’t have the power to “stop” things; state could try (it won’t, because the state is pro-growth) – the state could try, but it would probably be unconstitutional if it did. Property owners, whether the owner of 1 tract house or a large swath of land, have a right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, etc., and that includes the right to improve their property.

  16. It’s sick how much water the government is wasting for various reasons. Combine that with the fact that residents use 20% of the state’s water, but we’re the easy target to blame and fine when we make very little impact on the drought.

  17. It’s sick how much water the government is wasting for various reasons. Combine that with the fact that residents use 20% of the state’s water, but we’re the easy target to blame and fine when we make very little impact on the drought.

  18. It rained but yet the Vons off bouquet and Newhall Ranch Rd had their sprinklers on!!!

  19. there is. No way my household can meet this mandate, they don’t allow enough to live on. Quit building.

  20. Homes only use up to 10% of the water in CA, so why are we being punished!?
    This will not solve the problem, the other 90% could more easily…

  21. 1: Stop planting trees on Newhall Ranch Road (in the new development before it turns into Golden Valley highway)
    2: Stop planting trees on Soledad.
    3: Increase the price of water (private AND commercial). Let’s face it, water is cheap.
    4: Allow auditing of Government / infrastructure water usage.
    Here’s what I do to save water:
    I recycle my sons’ bathwater and water our roses outside.
    I installed a hot water recirculator on my hot water heater. I have INSTANT hot water everywhere in my house.
    I slightly close the water valves in the kitchen sink and 3 bathroom sinks. This prevents water from gushing out too fast and reduces the amount of water usage. (You don’t need full water pressure to wash your hands or face.)
    I keep a small bucket under the kitchen sink and use it to capture water when I’m rinsing off dishes, etc. then use it to water plants.
    I REALLY want to remove the grass and put in rockscaping. I’m concerned that it may “reduce my property value” though.

  22. We have plenty of water otherwise there would not be one government, city or county property with green landscaping, washed vehicles or decorative water fountains or new plantings on medians. Stop trying to bully the public with monetary threats for living in our homes.

  23. Stop building. Remove lawns from all government buildings.

  24. Every night at park Sierra (broken sprinkler) and 2 top it off they water the lawn at least 3 times a day rain or shine

  25. Steven Craig Steven Craig says:

    Last night after it rained for two days. I’d get in trouble but I’m not a multi million dollar company so screw me right.

  26. Driving down Lyons yesterday morning, sprinklers on. The city needs to completely eliminate all irrigation, especially on grass. It is an absolute waste just for aesthetics.

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