Sally White: What’s the hurry, City Council?


Water is the new oil.

What comes to mind when you hear those words? Do they cause you to think about what they are implying?

The sentence should cause each of us to ponder deeply. For over a century it has been control of oil that has made a few men very rich; now it is the control of water that is more and more becoming the indicator of great wealth.

He who controls water controls life. As the climate continues to warm, this will become more and more in evidence.

After attending the recent Santa Clarita City Council meeting, as well as many other meetings of our local water boards dealing with the proposed water district merger in the Santa Clarita Valley, I am certain that there is much to be lost if all of us living in this valley do not find out the history of our water supply and get involved in what is happening to it.

What is at stake? Our water! All around the world large corporations are buying up the water rights in countries where money speaks louder that human voices.

This is in order to bottle and sell for profit the precious water that is a human right and should be treated as part of the common interests, belonging to all.

Here in our community no one is planning to bottle our local water and sell it back to us – at least not now. However, late last month our City Council decided, in a vote of 4-1 with Marsha McLean dissenting, to send a letter of support for legislator Scott Wilk’s Senate Bill 634 in favor of a merger of the Newhall County Water District and the Castaic Lake Water Agency, even though the bill is flawed as presented.

They did not “sign off” on the bill, but they did signal that they are in favor of continuing work on this legislation.

If I were considering such an important decision – say buying a very expensive piece of property – I would not send a “letter of support or approval” until every “i” was dotted and every “t” crossed.

There was such a feeling of the “good ol’ boys” (and girls) network prevailing that night; I was terribly disappointed.

Marsha McLean, I was, indeed, quite proud of you for looking more carefully at what was being proposed and making quite valid comments.

To all the other council members I would like to say: What is the big hurry? Why can’t we wait until all the bugs are eliminated from a bill before sending a letter of approval?

We who live in “Awesometown” sometimes become smug and complacent. So we trust that the decisions being made by our council members are in the interest of all of us, the citizens who have elected the council.

I am extremely dubious of this water merger/reorganization/takeover. Among other things, the idea of lowering rates seems improbable, and there is the issue of Water District 36, which is not addressed in the current agreement.

I urge you to study, learn and carefully think this one through.

Sally White is a Santa Clarita Valley resident.

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