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December 6
1864 - Actor William S. Hart born in Newburgh, New York [Hart Index]
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A new water district for the Santa Clarita Valley will become reality, thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown’s approval of Senate Bill 634 on Sunday.

Maria Gutzeit

Maria Gutzeit

Authored by Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), the legislation reorganizes Newhall County Water District and Castaic Lake Water Agency into the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency, which will launch Jan. 1, 2018.

“This is a historic day for the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Maria Gutzeit, NCWD board president. “We have worked tirelessly with Senator Wilk, our customers, environmental organizations, local government and businesses over the last two years to create something special for our community. We are grateful that the Governor saw the wisdom in creating a new, modern era of water management in the Valley.”

SCV Water will unify a fragmented system of small water providers into a modern and collaborative model. It was created as part of a nearly two-year public engagement process that included stakeholders from across the region.

Bob DiPrimio

Bob DiPrimio

“The creation of SCV Water is a testament to the extraordinary achievements we can accomplish when we work together,” said Bob DiPrimio, CLWA board president. “SCV Water puts us firmly on the path of unified water management. This is a proud moment for our region.”

“Governor Brown saw the wisdom in having a valley-wide water agency that can better manage our most precious resource and I’m thankful he signed SB 634 into law,” Wilk said. “My staff and I spent countless hours with water professionals, community leaders and stakeholders, ratepayers and legislative colleagues. The result of those efforts will ensure reliable, clean water for the Santa Clarita Valley and provide mortgage paying jobs for our workforce and veterans. The governor’s signature validates the vision of our valley and affords ratepayers a water agency with a streamlined governance structure reflecting the values of transparency and accountability.”

Scott Wilk

The new agency is expected to save $14 million in its first 10 years and result in enhanced water reliability, including growth of a recycled water supply, better groundwater management and environmental and watershed protections.

Three evenly sized electoral divisions will provide equal voting rights and representation to all corners of the Santa Clarita Valley for the first time in the region’s history.

“From the beginning, the goal was to partner with the community to develop a 21st Century water agency we can proud of for years to come,” Wilk said. “I believe we did that, and with the governor’s signature, the people of Santa Clarita Valley will now have an agency that will be better positioned to provide proper stewardship of the environment as well as better protect ratepayers,” concluded Wilk.

Leaders from CLWA and NCWD will hold public meetings to develop an operational framework and policies. The meetings begin at 6 p.m. on Oct. 24 at NCWD, Nov. 13 at CLWA, and Dec. 4 at a location to be determined.

“As the legislative process of forming the new agency comes to a close, the work of building it has just begun,” Gutzeit said. “This will be an ongoing and methodical process that will engage the public as much as possible.”

More information is available online at www.YourSCVWater.com.

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2 Comments

  1. waterwatcher says:

    With the stroke of his pen, he eliminated the best functioning water district in this valley without a public vote and legitimized a corporate water grab for Lennar/Fivepoint for Newhall Ranch. You would think that a Dem legislature would look more closely at a Republican bill, but apparently they don’t bother when it comes from a Republican-controlled community. And of course Brown would sign it with his sister sitting on the Fivepoint Board making $122,000 a year.

    Obviously Wilk doesn’t care much about the residents or there would have been a vote by the people. It is all about big money. Hope you remember that in the next water election, especially those that promoted this fiasco, like Gutzeit.

  2. jim says:

    Well, except for the part where the actual constituents and rate-payers of the NCWD were denied the right to vote for or against this merger.

    Add to that the sly and sneaky way they used professional PR folks to manage and dominate the few actual “meetings” held to “discuss” this water take-over.

    But don’t worry folks, ignorance is bliss. And by definition, the SCV is one of the most blissful parts of LACO District 5.

    After all, most of us are close neighbors to Awesome Town. Which, of course will soon become Not-So Awesome Town when all the Awesomeness moves west of the I5 to Newhall Wrench. And of course, when the build-out is complete, Five Points asks the SClarita City Council to allow the Newhall Wrench to be thrown into the City of SClarita.

    Good times.

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