Officials back plan to secure water delivery
Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors also vote to support project
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The Delta’s delivery system, however, is badly outdated, a problem compounded both by a declining ecosystem that is harmful to fish and a 1,100-mile levee system that is increasingly vulnerable to earthquakes,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.