UPDATE: Water company merger bill passes through committee

State Senator Scott Wilk, left, speaks to constituent Richard Humanic about his concerns regarding the possible consolidation of Castaic Lake Water Agency and Newhall County Water District Feb. 11 at City Hall. Samie Gebers/ Signal
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Senator Scott Wilk’s Senate Bill 634, which would create a new water district in the Santa Clarita Valley, passed through the Senate Committee on Natural Resources 7-0 on Tuesday.

The measure would merge the Castaic Lake Water Agency and Newhall County Water District to create the Santa Clarita Valley agency. Reportedly, this move would save the valley $14 million over the course of 10 years.

“SB 634 would establish a 21st Century modern government agency that will not only serve the needs of my district, but will become a model for water agencies throughout the state,” Wilk said in a statement. “I am very pleased the committee sees the value in unifying the current patchwork of regional water management in the Santa Clarita Valley into one streamlined agency.”

Wilk wants to engage all parties in a collaborative manner to work on this bill that is “a work in progress,” the statement read. The bill will be beneficial to the environment and to customers, he said.

“I am convinced when all is said and done the new agency will provide improved reliability, water quality and allow for a unified regional approach to Santa Clarita Valley water issues,” he said.

Newhall County Water District General Manager Steve Cole said while passing through the committee is a step in the right direction, there is still a lot of work to be done.


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