Of­fi­cials back plan to se­cure wa­ter de­liv­ery

Metropoli­tan Wa­ter District Board of Direc­tors also vote to sup­port project

The Signal - - FRONT PAGE - By Jim Holt Sig­nal Se­nior Staff Writer

Lo­cal wa­ter of­fi­cials en­dorsed a plan to fix the sys­tem which de­liv­ers wa­ter to the Santa Clarita Val­ley from North­ern Cal­i­for­nia at a cost to mom-and-pop SCV ratepayer of $20 a month, a fee to be af­fixed to ratepay­ers prop­erty tax bills.

The project ham­mered out by state of­fi­cials these past 10 years to re­pair the wa­ter con­veyance sys­tem is called the Cal­i­for­nia WaterFix. It used to be called the Bay Delta Con­ser­va­tion Project.

Mem­bers of the Cas­taic Lake Wa­ter Agency board unan­i­mously ap­proved a rec­om­men­da­tion late Wed­nes­day night to back the WaterFix project which calls for an ex­ten­sive over­haul of the wa­ter de­liv­ery sys­tem.

The vote comes a day after a sim­i­lar pledge was made by of­fi­cials at one of the state’s largest wa­ter agen­cies.

On Tues­day, the Metropoli­tan Wa­ter District’s Board of Direc­tors voted to sup­port the statefed­eral project to mod­ern­ize the state wa­ter sys­tem and help im­prove sup­ply re­li­a­bil­ity for the South­land.

Metropoli­tan’s board ap­proved the district’s 26 per­cent share of fi­nanc­ing the Cal­i­for­nia WaterFix project as well as mov­ing for­ward on a gov­er­nance struc­ture to build and fi­nance the $17 bil­lion project, Met spokesman Bob Muir an­nounced in a news re­lease is­sued Tues­day.

Metropoli­tan’s share is about $4.3 bil­lion.

“Ev­ery gen­er­a­tion of South­ern Cal­i­for­ni­ans has to rein­vest in our wa­ter sys­tem to en­sure a re­li­able

wa­ter fu­ture. To­day marks one of those his­toric votes that reaf­firms that com­mit­ment and vi­sion,” Metropoli­tan Board Chair­man Randy Record said.

“We sim­ply must mod­ern­ize and im­prove the re­li­a­bil­ity of our im­ported sup­plies as well as meet the needs of growth by de­vel­op­ing more lo­cal sup­plies and ex­tend­ing con­ser­va­tion.”

About 30 per­cent of the wa­ter that flows out of taps in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia comes from North­ern Cal­i­for­nia via the Sacra­mento -San Joaquin Delta.

The Delta’s de­liv­ery sys­tem, how­ever, is badly out­dated, a prob­lem com­pounded both by a de­clin­ing ecosys­tem that is harm­ful to fish and a 1,100-mile levee sys­tem that is in­creas­ingly vul­ner­a­ble to earthquakes, flood­ing, salt­wa­ter in­tru­sion, cli­mate change and en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion.

In an ef­fort to make a more in­formed de­ci­sion be­fore they voted Wed­nes­day night, CLWA board mem­bers heard from other stake­hold­ers.

Stephen N. Arakawa, rep­re­sent­ing the Metropoli­tan Wa­ter District of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia - which serves all of Los An­ge­les – said the “Met” has al­ready com­mit­ted to help­ing fund the WaterFix project.

“We need to fix the Delta,” Arakawa told The CLWA board.

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