A bill that will create a new water agency for the Santa Clarita Valley will land on the governor’s desk after the California State Senate voted unanimously to approve the measure on Thursday.
After having passed the Assembly on Wednesday, the Senate voted to adopt a House-amended version of Senate Bill 634, which would reorganize the Newhall County Water District and the Castaic Lake Water Agency into the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency.
The Senate voted, 33-0, to pass the bill, which now heads to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown. If the bill is approved and signed by the governor, the new agency would take effect in early next year.
Maria Gutzeit, president of Newhall County Water District, and Bob DiPrimio, president of Castaic Lake Water Agency, issued a joint statement following the passage of the bill.
“We are extremely pleased with the Senate’s vote today. SB 634 has received overwhelming, bi-partisan support in nine separate legislative votes and now moves to its final step of the process – the Governor’s desk.
“We especially want to thank Senator Scott Wilk for his tremendous leadership in advancing this idea forward in a truly collaborative and bi-partisan way. This bold idea will have a profoundly positive impact on water resource management for the Santa Clarita Valley and we’re eager to make it a reality.”
About SB 634
SB 634, introduced in February, is the product of two years of negotiations and public outreach led by Senator Wilk, CLWA and NCWD to unify water governance in the region. This bill would reorganize the Newhall County Water District and the Castaic Lake Water Agency into the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency, a new water district that would manage and distribute water throughout the valley.
A comprehensive economics and efficiencies study found that the new agency would generate $14 million in savings in its first 10 years, create a new, more accessible governance structure, enhance environmental and watershed protections, and lead to stronger local water reliability, including the development of recycled water. More information on the new water district can be found at www.YourSCVWater.com.