With California in a major drought, many are suffering from the lack of water.
The Los Angeles Residential Community Ranch is among those who have run out of water in the Bouquet Canyon community.
“The wells are completely dry so we’re looking at alternatives,” said Charles Sturkey, director of LARC Ranch.
The LARC Ranch provides residential and day programs for developmentally disabled adults on 65 acres in Saugus, about two miles north of Santa Clarita city limits.
The ranch currently trucks in 11,000 gallons of water every day, costing the nonprofit $150,000 per year.
More than 100 people currently live at the ranch, along with staff members who use the water.
“There are only four options: trucking in water, getting the wells operational, drill a new well or have a pipeline brought up through the canyon,” Charles Sturkey said. “(The installation of a pipe) would destroy Bouquet Canyon Road and it’s not something that could be done overnight. It could take quite a bit of time.”
Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s representatives are meeting Friday to discuss the issue.
“We’re still working with the Forest Service on trying to find a solution,” said Antonovich deputy Edel Vizcarra. “The process with the Forest Service is not going to be a quick fix. The supervisor still remains committed to the issue.”
The Sturkeys met last week with their municipal water supplier to discuss the issue and create a resolution, said Kathleen Sturkey, executive director of LARC Ranch.
“LARC Ranch is not closing, but our aquifer is dry,” Sturkey said. “When we opened in 1959, it used to be wonderful aquifer — and in December, we began to have problems.”
The ranch has bought more than 1.4 million gallons of water as of June since the wells ran dry.
“We know that’s not the solution, but it’s what we can do to help our people,” Kathleen Sturkey said. “We’re helping with conservation by teaching our residents to use water wisely. We don’t want to worry our residents, this could be a very frightening thing to them.”
The ranch officials would like to have well water for irrigation and pipe water for drinking, Sturkey said.
The cost would be approximately $3 million to install a pipeline with drinking water through Bouquet Canyon to LARC Ranch.
LARC Ranch officials also set up a capital campaign in January to start raising money for a special water fund.
“We have never paid for water before and it has taken a toll on our budget,” Sturkey said. “We never budgeted it in but we have to be there for our people. There’s no closing of LARC Ranch. We’re going to make through this crisis.”