Senate Bill 634 by Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, easily cleared its final legislative hurdle today and is headed to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for his decision. Wilk’s legislation would modernize water governance in the Santa Clarita Valley and create a new valley-wide water agency. It has had strong bipartisan support throughout the legislative process.
“This has been an amazing journey. I live in Santa Clarita, raised my family here and care deeply about this place and its future. SB 634 will ensure the community I love has sustainable, efficient water delivery for years to come,” said Wilk. “Bringing good jobs to our Valley, improving transparency for ratepayers and ensuring a strong ratepayer advocate was in place were some of the objectives we hoped to achieve – and with this bill we have.”
Late last year the boards of the Castaic Lake Water Agency (CLWA) and Newhall County Water District (NCWD) voted to dissolve the two agencies and create a new valley-wide water agency. Senate Bill 634 is the fruit of those negotiations. Wilk’s legislation creates a new agency that brings a large private water company into public ownership, adding transparency requirements and voter control where none exists today. Economic impact and efficiency studies found that the new district will generate millions of dollars in savings, create more transparency for the ratepayer and enhance environmental and watershed protections.
“Thank you to everyone who has participated in crafting this bill,” said Wilk. “This thoughtful input has resulted in a measure which ensures clean water, jobs for our workforce and veterans, and will serve as a model for water providers throughout the nation.”