SCV Water and its water-banking partners, Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District and Irvine Ranch Water District, recently opened six new groundwater wells and a conveyance system to the Cross Valley Canal in Kern County.
“The project and partnership is part of the Drought Relief Project,” said SCV Water Board President Bill Cooper. “The focus is on developing the capacity to recover water during dry years and longterm droughts or other major emergencies.”
The banked water supplies are stored in natural, underground aquifers in Kern County, about a hundred miles from Santa Clarita. They are available to us independent of how little rain or snowpack is provided by mother nature.
This single project provides for more than triple the current recovery capacity. With the new wells, SCV Water now has direct access to 10,000 acre-feet per year from our water banking program, greatly enhancing our water supply reliability in the critically dry years. Once the water is pumped from the new wells, it is conveyed to the Cross Valley Canal and then to the State Water Project for delivery into Santa Clarita from Castaic Lake.
One acre-foot equals about 326,000 gallons, or enough water needed to cover a football field one foot deep. It serves one to two households for a year.
The approximately $9.7 million project was substantially funded by Proposition 1 (Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014), which provides grant funding for projects that help meet the long-term water needs of the state, including water supply reliability and resiliency.
“Our ongoing relationship with Rosedale and IRWD provided an opportunity to cost-effectively build those wells,” said Dirk Marks, director of water resources for SCV Water. “Additionally, we were able to use $4.58 million in grant funding through the California Department of Water Resources to help pay for the project.”
This project is one piece of SCV Water’s water supply portfolio. We rely on a diverse mix of water supplies, including: groundwater, State Water Project water, a firm long-term San Joaquin Valley water purchase, and years’ worth of banked water.
As SCV Water focuses on a regional approach, we are proving more effective at maintaining and replenishing our current and future water resources.
Additionally, as we maintain our current infrastructure and develop new infrastructure, we are better equipped to provide our customers with reliable supplies for generations to come.
About the Drought Relief Project
During 2014, portions of the country were gripped with extensive drought, including the State of California. As a result, several bills (S. 2198 – Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014 and H.R. 5781 – California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014) were introduced to address drought conditions and impacts, and assist with drought response.
Water banking and exchange partners, Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD), Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District (RRBWSD) and SCV Water developed a Drought Relief Project to share new ideas, strategies and methods to develop projects that focus on reliable, resilient and sustainable water supplies.
About SCV Water
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency (SCV Water) is a full-service regional water agency located in the Santa Clarita Valley. SCV Water provides water service to approximately 72,000 business and residential customers. It was formed on January 1, 2018, when local water suppliers combined into one integrated, regional water provider. More information can be found at