Waterworks ratepayers not part of new water agency

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As the Santa Clarita Valley inches to a place under the umbrella of one all-encompassing water agency, those in the valley who get their water from the county will not be part of the new deal.

At least 5,200 people in Val Verde and parts of Castaic get their water from Los Angeles County Waterworks District #36.

They pay the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works directly for their water according to water use readings on 1,350 water meters.

On the other side of the SCV, in Acton, another 6,500 people pay Waterworks District #37 for 1,400 metered connections.

Neither group is expected to be part of the newly proposed Santa Clarita Valley Water District.

With Valencia Water Company’s role still being fleshed out – thus far Castaic Lake Water Agency and Newhall County Water District, along with the Santa Clarita Water Division, are defined players in the formation of the new water group in the Santa Clarita Valley.

County water

Both county water districts were formed in 1963 – 10 years after SCV’s oldest water retailer, the Newhall County Water District was formed.  They have remained independent and will continue to be independent, according to Los Angeles County spokesman Adam Ariki.

“Los Angeles County Waterworks Districts Numbers 36 and 37 are independent Waterworks Districts and thus are not related in any way to Santa Clarita Water District,” Ariki told The Signal Friday.

District 36 ratepayers get a portion of their water from the Castaic Lake Water Agency, which is contracted with the state to import water from Northern California. They get the rest of their water as groundwater pumped from one well pumping from the Saugus formation beneath the District’s service area.

Often overlooked in discussions about water distribution, the county water retailer has a seat at the Castaic Lake Water Agency next to the SCV’s three main retailers: NCWD, the Valencia Water Company and the Santa Clarita Water Division.

Dean Efstathiou has represented Waterworks District #36 and the concerns of its ratepayers on the CLWA board for a quarter of a century.

Exactly how Waterworks District #36 would fit into the all-encompassing water district proposed for the Santa Clarita Valley was a question asked by state staffers preparing a brief for the Senate subcommittee on Natural Resources which reviewed the bill last month.

Committee members were informed of two key shortcomings in the proposed bill.

– The bill ignores Los Angeles County Waterworks District #36.

– The bill ignores Los Angeles County Waterworks District #37 which covers part of the area where the Santa Clara River headwaters are found.

The report prepared for committee members said: “The bill is largely silent on the other two retail water suppliers (Valencia Water Co. and Los Angeles County Waterworks District #36) within the new district’s boundaries.”

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