Governor signs bill creating new water agency

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

The way water is acquired and distributed throughout the Santa Clarita Valley changed forever Sunday when Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill creating one new all-encompassing water district for the SCV.

The governor signed Senate Bill 634, according to Governor staffers who updated his official website. The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency is now the agency which distributes water in the SCV.

Gone is the water system that has remained in place for the last half century.

Gone is the Castaic Lake Water Agency – SCV’s water wholesaler which delivers Northern California water to the SCV via the State Water Project – and gone is the system of selling water to three main water retailers: the Newhall County Water District, the Santa Clarita Water Division and the Valencia Water Company.

Despite news last month that the California Democratic Party came out against the historic bill, the governor signed it and made it official.

On Sept. 1, the water bill cleared its biggest hurdle when it passed through the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Two weeks later, Senate bill 634 passed the Senate Floor.

With the Governor’s signature Sunday, the bill becomes law and the Castaic Lake Water Agency and Newhall County Water District dissolve into the new agency.

For more than a year, officials with the Castaic Lake Water Agency and the Newhall County Water District – SCV’s water wholesaler and one of its four local water retailers, respectively – have been hammering out details of a merger, eliciting input from the public at four public meetings.

In December, both the CLWA and NCWD signed a settlement agreement calling for legislation to be drafted and submitted.

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