Senate Bill 634 (SB 634) by Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. SB 634 was received overwhelming bipartisan support in both houses of the Legislature and garnered the support of business, environmental and labor organizations as it went through the legislative process.
“Governor Brown saw the wisdom in having a valley-wide water agency that can better manage our most precious resource and I’m thankful he signed SB 634 into law. My staff and I spent countless hours with water professionals, community leaders and stakeholders, ratepayers and legislative colleagues. The result of those efforts will ensure reliable, clean water for the Santa Clarita Valley and provide mortgage paying jobs for our workforce and veterans,” said Wilk. “The governor’s signature validates the vision of our valley and affords ratepayers a water agency with a streamlined governance structure reflecting the values of transparency and accountability.”
Late last year the boards of the Castaic Lake Water Agency (CLWA) and the Newhall County Water District (NCWD) voted to dissolve themselves and create a new valley-wide water agency. Senate Bill 634 is the fruit of those negotiations. SB 634 creates the new agency which will bring a large private water company into public ownership, and add 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.
“From the beginning, the goal was to partner with the community to develop an 21st Century water agency we can be proud of for years to come. I believe we did that, and with the governor’s signature, the people of Santa Clarita Valley will now have an agency that will be better positioned to provide proper stewardship of the environment as well as better protect ratepayers,” concluded Wilk.