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SCV Water Committee imposes non-voluntary water conservation plan

Enforcement would be Stage 2 as water officials seek to deal with worsening drought

Posted: February 4, 2014 5:54 p.m.
Updated: February 4, 2014 5:54 p.m.

Santa Clarita Valley Water Committee Chairman Steve Cole, left, makes notes as Dan Masnada, Castaic Lake Water Agency general manager, right, makes a point to remove the word "voluntary" from the committee's Water Conservation Action Plan approved Tuesday at Santa Clarita City Hall. Signal photo by Dan Watson

Facing a worsening drought statewide, Santa Clarita Valley water officials called on local residents Tuesday to conserve water, unveiling the first phase of a drought action plan.

Members of the Santa Clarita Valley Water Committee met at City Hall and agreed to proceed with what was initially called the “Voluntary Water Conservation Action Plan” detailing outdoor and indoor water conservation guidelines.

After a bleak assessment of critical water shortages across the state presented by Dirk Marks of the Castaic Lake Water Agency, members called for and immediately agreed to drop the word “voluntary” from their action plan.

However, there is no enforcement of the guidelines. Enforcement would come with a Stage 2 Water Conservation Action Plan.

On Jan. 17, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a statewide drought declaration. Steve Cole, general manager of the Newhall County Water District, pointed out Tuesday the drought has “resulted in water supplies that are drastically below normal.”

“The next few months we’re going to know how serious this is,” said Castaic Lake Water Agency General Manager Dan Masnada. The agency supplies water from Northern California to local water retailers, and state officials announced last week there would be no water to ship south this year.

Committee members were presented with a disturbing graphic prepared by Marks showing comparative aerial photographs of Northern California snow packs taken last year and this year.

A shot of fluffy white snow on the tops of the Sierra Nevada mountain range taken Jan. 13, 2013, contrasted starkly with a barren brown photo of the same range taken Jan. 13 this year.

Given the urgency of drought implications, committee members agreed to step up their meetings to once a month beginning immediately.

The Water Conservation Action Plan calls on residents and businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley to take reasonable actions to reduce water consumption and eliminate any water-wasting practices.
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt



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