A new water district is the right idea at the right time for the Santa Clarita Valley. Our current system is an outdated patchwork of madness that creates confusion and inefficiencies. A new era of water management will reflect our values as a community and bring about much needed change and efficiencies.
This bold idea has been in process for two years and has gone through intense review by local water leaders, voters and the State Legislature. At every step along the way, the proposal has improved, earning the overwhelming support of our community.
A quick review of what a new water district means for local water ratepayers makes it clear why:
Local Workers and Vets Prioritized: The new district will help put local workers and veterans back to work. A recent agreement stipulates that the new district will create a Community Workforce Agreement to prioritize local workers and vets to help build approximately $200 million of planned recycled water projects. This new initiative ensures that the future district would be built for – and by – our local community.
$14 Million in Savings: The new district will save our Valley $14 million in its first 10 years. This is money that can go to enhancing our water system and stabilize rates by offsetting external forces, like inflation.
Increased Transparency and Accessibility: The new district will ensure all corners of the Valley will have an equal voice on water issues. This is an extraordinary improvement from our current approach, where some residents do not vote for retail water leaders at all!
Better Watershed Management: One unified water district also enables to better protect our natural habitats, especially the upper Santa Clara River watershed. It’s now time we make this idea a reality and we urge the California Legislature to pass Senate Bill 634 (Wilk) – the legislation needed to bring about unified water management in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Despite recent attempts by a small group of naysayers to confuse the intent and purpose of this idea, the Santa Clarita Valley community remains firmly behind this concept. In fact, a public poll conducted by a local news organization found nearly 75 percent of area residents support unified water management. Two scientific surveys mirrored these results by finding the same extraordinary high level of support.
This is not surprising. After all, the jobs, economic and environmental benefits of unified water management are immense while the alternative would be continued legal disputes and fractured water governance.
We urge the California Legislature to vote YES on local jobs, stronger water management and increased environmental protections. We urge a YES vote on SB 634.
SCV Chamber of Commerce