Frequently Asked Questions
What is CLWA?
CLWA is the region’s water wholesaler. It purchases water from the State Water Project and provides this supply to the region’s retail water agencies. It owns the Santa Clarita Water Division and Valencia Water Co., two of the region’s main water retail providers.
What is NCWD?
NCWD is one of the region’s three primary retail water providers. It provides water from two sources – groundwater wells and CLWA – to roughly 45,000 customers in Newhall, Castaic, Pinetree, Saugus and other areas.
What's will be required to create a new district?
Newhall County Water District and Castaic Lake Water Agency spent more than one year studying the potential of a new water district. A comprehensive study and outreach process was launched to understand priorities from customers. The two boards of directors approved the pathway to create a new district, which also requires legislation. SB 634, authored by Senator Scott Wilk, was introduced in February 2017. It requires review by the California Senate and Assembly, as well as approval from Governor Jerry Brown.
Will the public have a chance to weigh in on the idea?
Absolutely. The districts launched one of the region’s most robust outreach processes in our history. More 24 stakeholder meetings, give public workshops and board meetings, 30,000 letters, 65,000 emails, 20,000 social media engagements, this website and numerous other methods were used to raise awareness and learn about customer priorities for a new district.
What principles are guiding this process?
The two agencies have reached consensus on the following guiding principles to steer the process. Together, NCWD and CLWA seek to:
- Enhance integrated water strategy and management.
- Value an inclusive, open and transparent public process for water management.
- Make ratepayer value and multiple stakeholder benefits a priority.
- Listen to each other and work collaboratively; seek to understand opinions, especially opposing points of view.
- Identify and prioritize issues that are important and worthy to address first.
Do NCWD and CLWA share common goals?
Yes. The two agencies agree on these common goals and conditions that, if met, could lead to the formation of a new public agency:
- Adopting a regional approach to imported and retail water services.
- Ensuring a customer-focused approach.
- Making improvements in water supply reliability and water use efficiency.
- Ending the current legal disputes between the agencies.
- Ensuring that financial debts of one entity will not be borne by the customers of the other.
Will the new district save money?
The new district would save upwards of $14 million in its first 10 years. These cost savings will place downward pressure on rates, allow for infrastructure development and job creation, and the enhancement of local reliability.
We have analyzed these cost savings and presented them to the public for review here.
Is this potential new agency the result of development and growth in the region?
No. This is about enhanced water management, improved governance and opportunity for our region. Cities and county governments are responsible for development.
How can a new local water district save costs?
One of the goals is to create efficiencies and economies of scale, adopt an enterprise model of governance, and protect ratepayers through a variety of innovative mechanisms. We have analyzed these costs and presented them to the public for review here.
Will the creation of a new water district in the Santa Clarita Valley result in a takeover of LA County Waterworks District #36?
No. District 36 would continue to operate as it does today and provide retail water service to its customers. The new district would serve as its wholesale water provider and collaborative regional partner, just as Castaic Lake Water Agency does today. Any decision to join the new district would be at the discretion of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in cooperation with the Local Agency Formation Commission. Simply put, District 36 is not impacted by the formation of a new district.
What impact would the newly created Santa Clarita Valley Water District have on Valencia Water Company and its customers?
The new district would have no immediate or operational impact on the rate-payers of the privately-owned Valencia Water Company. If SB 634 is enacted and the proposed new Santa Clarita Valley Water District is created, the new district would then own the VWC stock. At that point a clear path would exist to bring VWC into the public sector. As part of a public entity, VWC would operate in the same manner as the new district and as the current retailers, developing water rates through the public Proposition 218 process and benefitting from potential economies of scale and other efficiencies.
Who will be part of the new district?
Currently, NCWD and Santa Clarita Water Division customers would be part of the retail functions of the new district. The new district will provide wholesale functions to the other districts, including Los Angeles County Waterworks District #36, as CLWA does today. It is possible for District #36 and the other water provider, Valencia Water Co., to join the new district at a later date.
Is this about Newhall Ranch?
No. The proposed Newhall Ranch development has secured its water supplies from three sources: groundwater wells, purchased water and recycled water. This is documented in its EIR and the regional Urban Water Management Plan. The new district would have no bearing whatsoever on Newhall Ranch.