Greg Amsler: A new idea gets even better

Proposed districts if the consolidation of Castaic Lake Water Agency and the Newhall County Water District are finalized via legislation.

A new water district for the Santa Clarita Valley is a great idea. It will save us $14 million and strengthen our local water reliability.

It modernizes our water system and creates a model of government accountability. It’s the right idea at the right time for the Santa Clarita Valley. And it just got even better!
Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, and leaders from Castaic Lake Water Agency and Newhall County Water District conducted a listening tour on how to improve Senate Bill 634, legislation authored by Wilk to create the new district.

They heard that Valencia Water Company, the region’s only remaining private water company, should become a public agency. So the legislation now requires the new district to attempt to bring VWC under its umbrella within six months.
Misinformation was spread about a potential takeover of Los Angeles County Water Works District 36 (a small water provider serving Val Verde and parts of Castaic), so the bill was amended to make it clear that the future of District 36 was firmly in the hands of the county.

They heard from The Signal and local community that a nine-member board, as opposed to 12 or 15, would be more accessible and efficient. So they mandated that the board reduce to nine members by 2024.

These may seem like technical or “inside baseball” changes to us non-water folks, especially when put beside the $14 million in savings the new district will create for local residents.

But it reflects the genuine desire of Wilk, the Castaic Lake Water Agency and Newhall County Water District to get this right. I applaud their efforts and thank them for making a great idea even better.

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