The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency hosted a virtual public meeting to inform residents of the Urban Water Management Plan and gather community input Wednesday.
With the agency’s nearly 275,000 users each consuming approximately 112 gallons of water each day, this plan is used to ensure there’s enough good, clean, reliable water, and is updated every five years as required by the state, according to SCV Water officials.
In the second of three public workshops, SCV Water officials outlined the UWMP, focusing on water reduction targets, demand and conservation, and drought risk assessment.
The Water Conservation Act of 2009 required a 20% reduction in water use in gallons per capita, per day, by 2020, which SCV Water was able to achieve through the use of conservation programs and is set to be reported in the UWMP.
“The agency, with the help of all of you, has reduced the water use per capita greater than the requirement, closer to a 24-25% reduction from the baseline water use,” said Lauren Everett, a consultant with Kennedy Jenks, adding that compliance will enable the agency to continue to be eligible for grants and/or loans.
While the goal was met, more water use objectives are expected to be released by the State Water Resources Control Board by next year.
Demand & conservation
SCV Water worked with city and county land use planners to look at how the area is expected to grow over time to see how water needs may grow in the future, according to Lisa Maddaus, a consultant with Maddaus Water Management.
Historical trends, such as rainfall, population and water production, help to forecast what meeting that demand may mean in years to come, while climate change and conservation efforts are also factored in, Maddaus added.
“The water demand is projected to go up 32%. That’s about an average of 1% per year. Again, that’s pretty common, and with a more water-efficient future, those trends will continue,” Maddaus said.
“As Californians, we are very accustomed to the cycles of drought, and moving forward, we know these cycles are going to continue,” said Sarah Fleury, SCV Water’s project manager for the UWMP.
The UWMP allows SCV Water to assess its water service reliability under varying conditions, including up to a five-year consecutive drought period.
To do this, SCV Water looks at its reliability in both long-term (20-plus-year analysis) as well as short-term planning (a single or multiple dry years), Fleury added.
“Being able to look ahead like this really allows us to mitigate, reduce or avoid these shortage response actions better than we would if we weren’t preparing,” Fleury said.
SCV Water officials discussed the agency’s Water Shortage Plan in detail during a previous public workshop, detailing a six-step plan that looks at where water-saving opportunities exist, while working with customers to promote more efficient water use.
A third public workshop is scheduled 6:30-8 p.m. March 22. The draft of the Urban Water Management Plan is set to be available for public review and comment in April before the public hearing on the plan in May, and the final plan is submitted to the state by July 1. To watch the meeting or for more information, visit yourscvwater.com/planning.