Transition

Transition 2018-07-16T08:50:49+00:00

SCV Water is the result of a collaborative response to the exhaustive Economic, Efficiencies and Enhanced Water Management study conducted last year to identify the potential benefits of a new water district in the Santa Clarita Valley. Leaders examined in great detail the core functions of multiple agencies in the region, including: finances, governance, operational and infrastructure assessment, organizational analysis and regional water management. It was determined that by creating a new, unified water agency, SCV Water would streamline resources, increase efficiencies and have the opportunity to better serve customers in the areas surrounding the Santa Clara River and Castaic Lake.

LAFCO CONDITIONS

On Wednesday, April 11, 2018, after conducting a duly-noticed public hearing, the Local Agency Formation Commission of the County of Los Angeles (LAFCO) approved the Final Written Report/Staff Report for Application for Conditions No. 2018-01 for the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency. Below is a copy of the correspondence and Application for Conditions.

Additionally, the following documents are also available:

Key Changes

By 2022, the SCV Water Board will be entirely elected. In response to requests from the public for higher efficiency, it will have nine directly elected directors. Each director must live in one of three electoral divisions and will be directly elected by the people within that electoral division. This is called divisional representation. It is strictly compliant with the California Voting Rights Act and allows neighbors to elect neighbors to govern water resources and ensures equal representation for all corners of the Valley.

SCV Water assumes the responsibility for importing water to the Santa Clarita Valley. The three previously separately retailers of Newhall County Water District, Santa Clarita Water District and Valencia Water Company are now operated jointly, with greater economy of scale, and overseen by a single publicly elected board. SCV Water operates in the same boundaries of the previous districts. Los Angeles County District #36 has access to imported water from the new district.

SCV Water converges NCWD, SCWD and VWC into one new retail provider. This creates economies of scale that are projected to save $14 million in the first 10 years. It also removes institutional barriers to integrated water systems and improves regional management of watersheds and water supplies. There are provisions in the legislation that would permit (but not require) District 36 to join later, upon mutual agreement of the new district and the Los Angeles County, and approval through LAFCO.

The service boundaries of NCWD, VWC and SCWD are dissolved, however there is accounting related to the “legacy boundaries” for the purpose of firewalling debt from the past agencies. This is different from the electoral divisions. These electoral divisions are crafted to ensure fair, equal representation and do not relate to historical retail water service boundaries. They have been crafted by an expert demographer to account for several issues, including: the California Voting Rights Act and minority populations, communities of interest, man-made and natural boundaries (e.g. I-5), and other dynamics.

NEW VS. OLD – MATRIX OF KEY CUSTOMER SERVICE

Senate Bill 634, authored by Senator Scott Wilk was unanimously approved by the State Senate and the Assembly, and was then signed by Governor Jerry Brown, effectively establishing SCV Water. The below matrix provides a more detailed “before and after” account of new water governance for the region.

NEWHALL COUNTY WATER DISTRICT

Issue

Current Structure

New Structure

RatesCombination of fixed fees and volumetric ratesNo anticipated immediate change; long-term changes to be set by future board; efficiencies offset external impacts to rates (e.g. inflation)
Governance 5 at-large directors elected within NCWD boundary9 member board by January 2023, all SCV residents to vote on three directors from distinct electoral divisions; division-based system meets CA Voting Rights Act compliance
ElectionsAt-large electionsDivision-based elections (e.g. must live in certain division to represent that area); First election for new district will be in 2020
Customer Service Online, in-person, website, auto-pay optionNo change; contact information to remain same and slowly transition over time
Bill Cycle MonthlyNo Change

SANTA CLARITA WATER DIVISION

Issue

Current Structure

New Structure

RatesCombination of fixed fees and tiered ratesNo anticipated immediate change; long-term changes to be set by future board; efficiencies offset external impacts to rates (e.g. inflation)
Governance SCWD governed by CLWA board of directors9 member board by January 2023, all SCV residents to vote on three directors from distinct electoral divisions; division-based system meets CA Voting Rights Act compliance
ElectionsSCWD customers vote for at-large and divisional CLWA directorsDivision-based elections (e.g. must live in certain division to represent that area); First election for new district will be in 2020
Customer Service Online, in-person, website, auto-pay optionNo change; contact information to remain same and slowly transition over time
Bill Cycle MonthlyNo Change

VALENCIA WATER COMPANY

Issue

Current Structure

New Structure

RatesCombination of fixed fees and tiered ratesNo anticipated immediate change; long-term changes to be set by future board; efficiencies offset external impacts to rates (e.g. inflation)
Governance Private board of directors9 member board by January 2023, all SCV residents to vote on three directors from distinct electoral divisions; division-based system meets CA Voting Rights Act compliance
ElectionsNo retail water elections; VWC residents vote for CLWA leadershipDivision-based elections (e.g. must live in certain division to represent that area); First election for new district will be in 2020
Customer Service Online, in-person, website, auto-pay optionNo change; contact information to remain same and slowly transition over time
Bill Cycle MonthlyNo Change

Milestones & Dates

Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL & ADMINSTRATIVE

The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency (SCV Water) was formed to modernize and enhance water service in the region. It was crafted during a two-year public process led by Castaic Lake Water Agency and Newhall County Water District. It will provide water service to customers of NCWD, Valencia Water Company and the Santa Clarita Water Division. It will also provide “wholesale” water service to Los Angeles County Waterworks District #36 and work to regionally manage water resources for the entire Santa Clarita Valley.

SCV Water will provide water service to customers who reside within the service areas of the providers currently known as the Santa Clarita Water Division, Valencia Water Company and Newhall County Water District. It will serve as the region’s “wholesale” water provider, a function served by Castaic Lake Water Agency in the past. Los Angeles County Waterworks District #36 is not a part of the new agency, but will continue to receive wholesale water from SCV Water for its retail customers.

One benefit of the new agency is that it allows Valencia Water Company to be incorporated into a public water agency. It will be folded into the new agency no later than May 31, 2018 (unless a time extension is granted).  Once it has been folded into the new agency, Valencia Water Company customers will be served by SCV Water and have voting rights for its board of directors.

SCV Water was crafted with three evenly sized electoral divisions to give equal representation to all residents of the Valley. The first elections will take place in 2020.. By 2022, the board will be reduced to nine elected members – three in each division – to ensure fair representation. SCV Water’s governance structure marks the first time in our region’s history that all residents will be able to directly elect their water leaders.

Office hours and locations for Santa Clarita Water Division and Valencia Water Company will remain the same for the foreseeable future. Newhall County Water District will change its operating hours to be in alignment with those of Santa Clarita and Valencia Water and will be closed on alternating Fridays starting January 2, 2018.  Hours: 7:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Thursday and 7:30 to 4:30 pm every other Friday.

Billing & Customer Service

The rate structures enacted by your current water provider will continue into the new water agency. This is to ensure proper accounting of past infrastructure debt.  In other words, this structure ensures that the ratepayers in one area do not pay for infrastructure debt that was incurred in another area. Over time, this debt will be retired and SCV Water may move to a single rate structure. The way you currently pay your bill (online, automatic, mail, drop-off, etc.) will not change and you can continue to pay as you desire.

A comprehensive financial analysis performed in 2016 found millions of dollars of savings would result from the formation of the new agency.   This is due mostly to the economies of scale found by reorganizing four separate water providers into one modern water agency. The cost of providing water increases along with other utility services it is driven by, such as the cost of power, investments in infrastructure, etc.  The savings from the new agency will offset costs that the public would otherwise have to pay.

The proposed VWC and SCWD rate changes are due to ongoing and long-planned needs assessments of revenue requirements to maintain service. These are unrelated to the new agency.

No. Bill pay – either online, mail or in person – will remain the same for the foreseeable future.

Your current bill format and cycle will remain the same for the foreseeable future. However, this process will be evaluated over time and modified as needed to ensure continuity and consistency for our customers.  Rest assured that SCV Water will communicate changes to our customers before they occur.

Please continue to pay your bill as you do today. It will be awhile before any changes are made to how payments are made. Rest assured that all changes will be communicated to our customers well in advance.

No. You can still call your current water provider with questions or for customer service. See all numbers and contact information here:

CLWA: (661) 297-1600

Newhall County Water Division: (661) 259-3610

Santa Clarita Valley Water Division: (661) 259-2737

Valencia Water Division: (661) 294-0828

A new SCV Water website will launch in early 2018. However, the current websites for CLWA, NCWD, SCWD and VWC will remain active for the foreseeable future to ensure you have access to customer service and information.

SCV WATER PUBLIC AND TRANSITION PROCESS

The process will be intentionally methodical. From a bill pay and customer service perspective, we anticipate changes happening over the next one to two years. Other internal changes will occur over the next several years. That said, certain changes – like board structure and elections – are mandated to change by certain dates in the legislation that formed the new agency. A timeline of these changes can be found here.

SCV Water was formed as part of a two-year public process with thousands of ideas and comments provided by the local community. In fact, many of the key priorities of the new agency – including its ratepayer advocate and certain financial provisions – were included and prioritized by the public. Details on this engagement can be found here. The process included nine separate votes of the California Legislature.

This website is a clearinghouse of information for the new district. Your current water provider’s website or customer service team will have information on current service, billing and other questions.

The Study

The Economics, Efficiencies and Enhanced Water Management Study is the guiding document for SCV Water governance and the future.

Read the full study or individual chapters below:

Full Report

Executive Summary & Introduction

Description of Current Water Providers

Governance Report

Organizational Analysis

Financial Analysis

Operational & Infrastructure Assessment

Regional Water Management

Conclusions & Recommendations