Water officials look at more water storing options


Drought-weary residents of the Santa Clarita Valley have a chance to recycle more than four times the amount of water already recycled and a chance to “bank” 7,500 acre feet of water in a year that they didn’t have before with two plans presented to local water officials this week.

An acre-foot of water is enough to fill at least 4,356 bath tubs or enough water to cover a football field with a foot of water.

Members of the Castaic Lake Water Agency’s Board of Directors were to be presented with two reports at its Wednesday night meeting – one about improving the availability and use of recycled water, and the other about storing more water for future use.

Recycled water

Local water officials felt the plan needed updating in light of recent developments affecting supply and demand of recycled water and its availability – in a word, drought.

In line to receive Proposition 1 funding from the state, Kennedy/Jenks Consultants presented CLWA’s board with an update on the agency’s Recycled Water Master Plan.

The plan serves as a guide for the possible expansion of recycled water in the SCV.

Consultants laid out a proposal to increase increasing the amount of water recycled throughout the SCV, laying it out in three phases – the first phase of which involves installing pipelines devoted to recycled water called purple pipe.

Replenishing groundwater

Recycled water is used to for landscaping, irrigating public parks and, at the moment, the golf course at Tournament Players Club Valencia.

In their update of that plan, consultants have suggested using recycled water to replenish groundwater in the SCV and using it to augment surface water.

Replenishing groundwater would mean strategically spreading recycled water over thirsty water basins.  Augmenting surface water would mean adding chloride-reduced water to Castaic Lake.

“Groundwater replenishment through spreading basins still needs further feasibility studies to be performed to determine if it is worth pursuing in the future,” Brian Folsom, the agency’s engineering and operations manager told The Signal Wednesday.

“Augmentation of surface water – a form of direct potable reuse – is a potential long term use for recycled water but currently is not permitted,” he said. “Regulators are currently investigating the requirements for such direct potable reuse if it was to be allowed.”

By following their “near term” recommendation to expand these “non-potable reuse projects,” the agency could increase its delivery of recycled water in the SCV from 450 acre feet of recycled water to 2,870 acre feet per year.

Stored water

The other plan to provide SCV with more water is the plan to store it better – made possible with the help of funding approved through a Proposition 84 Drought Grant.

Santa Clarita Valley would have access to 7,500 acre feet of water in a year – not a drop of which it had previously.

In 2005, the agency entered into an agreement with the Rosedale Rio-Bravo Water Storage District to have water stored outside of the valley for SCV’s use.

The additional water promised with the latest plan would be also stored at the Rosedale Rio-Bravo Water Storage District.

Obtaining the rights to 7,500 acre feet of water means participating in a plan to build six new wells in a cost-sharing agreement with Rosedale Rio-Bravo Water Storage District and the Irvine Ranch Water District. The decision is expected

In March, CLWA board members decided to invest $10 million in a plan to enhance its water banking program after they were told by state water officials they would receive only 5 percent of the water they normally get from Northern California in light of the drought.

The agency is SCV’s water wholesaler, delivering water through four water retailers, half of which originates from Northern California and the other half pumped from local groundwater wells.


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