|A few Santa Clarita Valley water predictions
Sometime it is quite easy to predict the future. Though it was expected, I did not really think the attempt to raise water rates would occur so quickly after Senate Bill 634, the water merger bill, was approved by the state Senate and Assembly, though it has yet to be signed by Gov.Jerry Brown.
We learn in a front-page article in Tuesday’s Signal that “water officials” want to raise water rates by 13 percent to as much as 16 percent over the next three years for residents who receive their water from the Santa Clarita Water Division (SCWD). As required by law, a public hearing is being scheduled.
Those opposed to the bill in its final form warned the public that an increase in rates was inevitable, but this was heartily denied by those who sought to control all of the water in our valley.
Residents were also informed that one of the water suppliers, Valencia Water Company, a retailer wholly owned by Castaic Lake Water Agency, is not under the jurisdiction of any public agency with the authority to oversee such matters as increases in water rates. We can only wonder what lies in store for those living in the Valencia Water Company’s district.
Those opposed to the bill also objected to the undisclosed agreement made when Castaic Lake Water Agency purchased Valencia Water that assured the supply of water to the Newhall Ranch Project.
Here is another future prediction that may take longer to come to pass: that is that the water supply for current residents of the Santa Clarita Valley may, sometime in the future, be diminished in favor of the residents of the various phases of Newhall Ranch.
The attempt to raise water rates for ratepayers in the SCWD deserves the attention of everyone living in this valley. The consequences of not paying attention to the important water issues facing our community have the grave potential of affecting our pocketbooks as well as our water supply.
We must all open our eyes very, very wide and pay attention to what is happening around us! Then we must speak up!
Sally White is a Valencia resident.