It appears from recent letters to the editor that Lynne Plambeck and her Friends of the Santa Clara River and SCOPE cohorts have rousted out the “oppose SB 634 water merger legislation” troops.
The reasons haven’t changed – characterizing the legislation as a “water grab,” a “war over water” and alleged assurance of water for the Newhall Ranch development at the expense of all who live in the SCV.
In fact, the only “war over water” has been the one the local activists have waged over the years – principally through frivolous litigation – in their attempts to curtail prudent and proper water management and dictate land use planning in the valley.
The benefits of the merger have been widely publicized. In fact, implementing the merger now makes practical sense because the need for separate water retailers serving separate communities in the valley no longer exists.
We are one community and water service from a sole provider will not result in a “mega-agency,” as ludicrously characterized by the activists. It will simply result in more cost-effective and efficient service and greater water supply reliability.
The merger has no impact whatsoever on the provision of water to Newhall Ranch. In fact, water supply for the development was identified and approved over 10 years ago by the county Board of Supervisors, long before the merger was proposed.
Since then, the Newhall Ranch water supply has been included in SCV Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP) updates (every five years; the most recent is the 2015 Plan).
Plambeck, in her capacity as Newhall County Water District director, voted to approve the 2010 and 2015 UWMPs. She has known and understood for at least a decade the Newhall Ranch water supply is included in the UWMPs.
So who is Plambeck trying to fool: the California Legislature, SCV water customers and residents, or her environmental constituency? I think she’s trying to fool one and all as long as it suits her goal, one that has nothing to do with the merger.