SCV Water lays out goals of strategic plan 

SCV Water logo
SCV Water Agency logo. Courtesy

Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency officials touted the cleanliness and abundancy of water in the SCV during a Zoom presentation of the agency’s five-year strategic plan on Monday evening. 

The plan includes eight goals that SCV Water’s board of directors wanted to focus on: customer service and stakeholder engagement; reliable infrastructure; a sustainable water supply and resources; high-quality water; financial resiliency; a high-performance team; environmental stewardship; and a safe and secure workplace. 

Those goals were then detailed by Ed Means, president of Means Consulting, who helped the staff and board to create the plan. He wanted people to know, though, that while the plan is currently constructed, it can be adjusted depending on what challenges arise in the future. 

“Strategic plans aren’t like stone tablets that are passed down from on high — they’re living documents,” Means said. “They’re designed to do the best we can at foreseeing the challenges coming up and making sure we have plans in place that will put us in a good position to be able to deal with those challenges.”

Customer service 

How customers are treated, Means said, is one of the tenets of any quality business or government organization. 

“It’s a vital part of what a utility does,” Means said. “They’re there to serve you as customers and all of their energy should be directed to make sure that that satisfaction, that that service, is at a high level.” 

As more customers and officials at the different levels of government are engaged, it makes it easier for SCV Water to address rate changes and coordinate for better support, Means said. He added that the agency can also change a plan depending on the reaction of customers. 

“It’s important that the community understand where Santa Clarita Valley Water is going,” Means said. “It’s important that Santa Clarita Valley Water understand where the community wants to go to make sure that these are aligned.” 


In order to receive, store and transport water, a proper infrastructure system is needed, Means said. That involves storage tanks as well as pipelines for water from out of the area and in the SCV to send it out to customers. 

That infrastructure requires constant maintenance to ensure that the systems are up to code and are sustainable, Means added. 

“It’s just like changing the oil in your car,” Means said. “You want to make sure that these maintenance procedures for this infrastructure are followed very diligently and very carefully. So, the goal here is to implement, operate and maintain water infrastructure to ensure sustainable water service provision.” 

Water supply 

There needs to be enough water to provide every resident and business with what is necessary, Means said. To do that, SCV Water is protecting its interests in the State Water Project and ensuring that its current water supply is unimpeded. 

“The more we can make the imported supplies we bring in work hand-in-glove with these local supplies, the more cost-effective it is, the more reliable you become as a water agency,” Means said. 

Part of this goal is conservation, meaning helping people to reduce their water usage to maintain a healthy supply for when drought brings the supply down. 

High-quality water 

A somewhat new strategy to ensure water quality involves the removal of polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, which the Environmental Protection Agency has said are chemicals found in most everyday products that take a long time to break down and are harmful to humans and wildlife. 

Means said removing those from the water supply, along with other harmful chemicals, is key to supplying high-quality water. He was proud to announce that SCV Water is in 100% compliance with all regulations. 

“High-quality water is always a feature, a pillar, of strategic planning for water utilities,” Means said. “We want to make sure we protect the quality of our water supplies, ensure our drinking water is compliant with all water-quality regulations.” 

Financial resiliency 

Maintaining standards and having a high supply of quality water can mean higher costs for using it, Means said. Those costs are then reflected in the rates that SCV Water customers pay. 

There were also some debts that SCV Water incurred as part of the merger between the different agencies that created SCV Water in 2018, with those debts also reflected in rates. Not every customer has to help cut those debts, though, as the Newhall division currently has no debt, while the Valencia and Castaic divisions have some debt, according to Matt Stone, general manager of SCV Water. 

The agency is also working to constantly improve its bond rating, Means said, meaning its cost to bring in water is lower. 

High-performance team 

Having the proper staff is one of the ways that SCV Water is helping its customers, Means said. Without proper training and communication between different departments in the agency, workers may not be able to best help customers, he added. 

To do so, Means said, the agency is working to have all decision-making be transparent and include staff in planning. 

Environmental stewardship 

A new goal that was not part of the last plan, SCV Water is hopeful to not harm the environment while trying to receive and store as much water as possible, which includes complying with environmental regulatory changes. 

“This relates to endangered species issues, energy issues and the like,” Means said. 

The agency is also focused on engaging with partners, such as the city of Santa Clarita, to capture as much stormwater and recycled water to use that for irrigation, leaving more drinking water for customers. 

Safe and secure workplace 

As more and more cybersecurity incidents are being reported across the world, Means said SCV Water is working on ensuring that all staff is equipped to handle an attack of that sort. 

The agency is also preparing employees to know what to do in case of an earthquake, which could impact water infrastructure. 

For more information on SCV Water’s strategic plan, visit 

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