Bob Kellar: New water district widely supported in SCV

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Last month I proudly watched as legislation to create a new water district for the Santa Clarita Valley passed through the Legislature on an overwhelmingly bi-partisan vote.

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our valley that has the strong support of our City Council. But the merits of this bold idea have also brought together a broad and diverse coalition that is unique for the region.

The legislation crafted by state Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, and conceptualized by our local water leaders is supported by:

  • Wilk
  • Assemblyman Dante Acosta, R-Santa Clarita
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger
  • City of Santa Clarita
  • Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building Trades & Construction Council
  • Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • California Wilderness Coalition
  • Valley Industry Association
  • Climate Resolve
  • San Gabriel Mountains Forever
  • Santa Clarita Economic Development Corporation
  • Santa Clarita Valley Community Hiking Club
  • Los Angeles County Business Federation (BIZFED)
  • United Water Conservation District
  • Association of California Water Agencies
  • Southern California Water Committee
  • California Special Districts Association
  • Association of Realtors
  • Castaic Lake Water Agency
  • Newhall County Water District

Additionally, dozens of local residents have voiced their support during the two-year public process to create the new district. This support is reflected by public opinion surveys, which show approximately 75 percent support for the concept.

These overwhelming numbers were also matched in a recent community poll conducted by the Santa Clarita Valley Signal.

In this time of great national political divide, it is heartening to see our community rally around an idea that will offer tremendous benefit to our region.

In fact, throughout my 17 years of service to the city of Santa Clarita, I am hard-pressed to identify an issue that has brought together so many diverse interests, and I am proud that the city is among its many supporters.

While Senator Wilk’s legislation passed, it still has one more step before becoming reality. Gov. Jerry Brown is poised to sign this historic legislation, and we will be grateful when he does.

After all, the new water district will save $14 million, enhance government accessibility, create equal voting rights and representation for our residents, increase watershed protections and environmental stewardship, strengthen our local water supply and unify our currently fractured water governance structure.

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