The Santa Clarita Valley Water District Bill, SB 634, authored by Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita to create a new valley-wide water district, passed Friday in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and now heads to the Assembly floor.
“Water is our most precious resource,” said Wilk. “The bill creates a modern and transparent water agency, which will provide an environmentally sustainable and cost effective way to manage our community’s water needs in the future.” Related: Wilk Water District Bill Passes Assembly Committee The legislation would reorganize the Newhall County Water District and the Castaic Lake Water Agency into the Santa Clarita Valley Water District.
The bill creates the new district and prohibits the Castaic Lake Water Agency and the Newhall County Water District from operating as separate entities or exercising independent functions. The bill had faced opposition in August, with both the Assembly Appropriations Committee and Wilk suggesting amendments to the original bill before it passed through for a floor vote. Related: Santa Clarita Water District To Prioritize Vets For Recycled Water Infrastructure
“Throughout the process I have taken amendments from stakeholders, held countless meetings with constituents, local officials and opponents to craft the best bill possible for our region,” said Wilk. “I am very pleased to see this move through the final steps of the Legislative process.”
Bob DiPrimio, Castaic Lake Water Agency President, and Maria Gutzeit, Newhall County Water District President, released a joint statement Friday morning expressing similar satisfaction with the Committee’s decision. Related: Wilk’s Santa Clarita Water Bill Moves One Step Closer To Assembly “A new era of water management for the Santa Clarita Valley is now at the goal line,” said the statement. “This bold idea to create a new, modern water district for our community has gone through an exhaustive and collaborative process, including nearly two years of public review and input, a vote of both our water agencies, analysis and votes from six legislative committees and a vote of the full California Senate.”
While celebrating the small victory for the water bill, DiPrimio and Gutzeit also acknowledged that the bill is not in the clear just yet. “The concept now faces two final steps before we can bring its benefits – including local jobs for residents and veterans, $14 million in savings, equal voting rights and representation, and better watershed management – to our community,” said the statement. “We are once again appreciative of Senator Scott Wilk for his leadership and hard work in making this idea a reality.”
Wilk’s water bill will go to the full Assembly for a vote sometime in the next two weeks, according to a news release from Wilk’s office.