The board of the Santa Clarita Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency unanimously approved a long-term plan for protecting the local water basin after conducting a five-year scientific study and input from the public.
The board of directors supported the groundwater sustainability plan for the Santa Clara River Valley East basin following a virtual public hearing on Monday, according to a news release.
“Passage of the GSP represents a monumental accomplishment for our region’s water future
and is a testament to what can be accomplished through the public process,” officials said in a prepared statement. “This document will guide management of the basin and protect it from overuse, ensuring access to the water our communities need to thrive.”
The GSP identifies ways to balance pumping and recharge in the basin within 20 years, considering population growth and climate change. Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, passed in 2014, the plan is required to protect groundwater resources statewide.
Additionally, the GSP will now go to the state Department of Water Resources for review.
A vital component of the plan and its development was two years of public outreach; it included six workshops, public comment, feedback forms, newsletters and website updates.
The SCV-GSA established a stakeholder advisory committee, which included the perspectives of pumpers, environmental and business interests, and the community at large.
Work on the GSP began in 2017 with a groundwater flow model, analysis and input from all user groups who depend on water from the basin. The Santa Clarita Valley gets about half of its drinking and agricultural irrigation water from the basin.
Without access to water from the basin, water providers would have to purchase more expensive water imported from hundreds of miles away.
The GSP can be accessed online at scvgsa.org, along with videos, fact sheets and other
information on groundwater conditions, sustainable management criteria and groundwater-dependent ecosystems.