Pipelines to Magic Mountain to be built with or without Newhall Ranch

Proposed site of Newhall Ranch development, looking southeast on state Route 126 in Castaic. Dan Watson/The Signal.

Pipelines that one day are expected to bring water to 21,000 homes west of the interstate, are expected to be built over the next five years, according to a capital projects planning schedule.

If the builders of those 21,000 homes earmarked as part of the masterplan Newhall Ranch housing project run into problems and are delayed, then the 5-year pipe-laying schedule will be delayed accordingly, Brian J. Folsom, Engineering and Operations Manager of the Castaic Lake Water Agency told The Signal Wednesday.

“The schedule you refer to shows the pipelines and reservoir proceeding in the near future but that is all contingent upon what happens with future development in the area,” he said.

“If development is slowed or deferred then the pipelines and reservoirs would be slowed or deferred as well.

“If the Newhall Ranch development were to be cancelled altogether we would still need the pipelines and reservoir, but it could potentially be reduced in size depending on what other developments may or may not be planned in place of Newhall Ranch,” Folsom said.

Magic Mountain area

The developers of Newhall Ranch, FivePoint, suffered a setback in November 2015 when the California Supreme Court said the developer failed to provide evidence in its Environmental Impact Report proving its project was consistent with state guidelines to control harmful greenhouse gas.

Pipeline work undertaken by CLWA stopped for at least 18 months following announcement of the court ruling.

Now, agency planners see the pipes serving the Magic Mountain area as serving a broader interest.

On Tuesday night, members of the agency’s Planning and Engineering Committee discussed the construction of pipelines in four stage that would facilitate Newhall Ranch by the end of 2022.

The four pipeline projects, all earmarked for the Magic Mountain area, are among 20 capital works projects being pursued by the agency.

“Part of the Agency’s long term plans include the construction of the Magic Mountain Pipelines and Reservoir,” Folsom said.

“Water stored in the Magic Mountain reservoir will be a combination of operational and emergency storage,” he said. “The operational storage component will be for current and future water users in the west side of the Agency’ service area.

“The emergency storage component will provide water during emergency situations and could be used anywhere in the service area,” he said. “The construction of the pipelines is currently being planned to coincide with grading and construction of roadways in the area.”

By putting in the pipelines at the same time as the road, he said, is hoped to be both environmentally friendly and cost effective.

Transporting water

Plans for the Newhall Ranch housing development call for water to be transported for it through a pipeline built by Castaic Lake Water Agency.

The new Magic Mountain Pipeline would connect existing pipes to a holding tank called the Magic Mountain Reservoir to be built in Newhall Land’s Mission Village, the first phase of construction for Newhall Ranch.

The first of three pipeline construction phases was to have started in March 2015 but was delayed until spring this year.

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