Appropriations committee to review water bill Wednesday


A water bill promising to create one new all-encompassing water district in the Santa Clarita Valley faces its toughest hurdle Wednesday when it goes before the State Assembly’s Appropriations Committee.

After sitting nearly a month in the in-box of the Appropriations Committee waiting to be addressed, legislators in Sacramento this week announced they have set aside Wednesday, Aug. 23 to discuss the cost implications of Senate Bill 634.

The bill promises to make history as it remains poised to abandon the current paradigm of many water retailers buying water from SCV’s water wholesaler – the Castaic Lake Water Agency – and then selling that water to Santa Clarita Valley ratepayers.

At a breakfast meeting of SCV business leaders two weeks ago, the bill’s author Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) said the biggest hurdle standing in the way of a water bill creating one new all-encompassing water district in the SCV is the cost-scrutinizing appropriations committee.

SB 634 has enjoyed a relatively easy journey through committees at the Senate level and in the Assembly with a modest amount of complaint and no obstruction.

In posting news of the committee’s intent to discuss SB634, the bill was described as: “an act to repeal Section 57114.5 of the Government Code, to repeal the Castaic Lake Water Agency Law (Chapter 28 of the First Extraordinary Session of the Statutes of 1962), and to create the Santa Clarita Valley Water District, and prescribing its boundaries, organization, operation, management, financing, and other powers and duties, relating to water districts.”

The bill’s author, Wilk, updated more than 100 local business people Wednesday on the status of Senate Bill 634 at a breakfast event held by the SCV Chamber of Commerce recently.

“This is probably our biggest hurdle,” he told more than 100 local business people recently regarding the status of SB 634 at a breakfast event held by the SCV Chamber of Commerce.

SCV’s water wholesaler, CLWA, and NCWD – one of three main water retailers in the SCV – signed a settlement agreement at the end of last year calling for legislation to be drafted and submitted for the creation of a brand new water agency.

For more than a year, officials with the CLWA and the NCWD hammered out details of a merger, eliciting input from the public at four public meetings.

In February, SB 634 was introduced to create one new all-encompassing water agency that would manage and distribute water throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.

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