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Santa Clarita Valley keeps water from Kern County

Posted: December 21, 2009 10:32 p.m.
Updated: December 22, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The Castaic Lake Water Agency cleared a legal hurdle, ensuring Santa Clarita Valley residents have a stable water supply, officials said Monday.

After a 10-year battle with state environmental officials, Castaic Lake Water won final approval for an environmental document that will keep much-needed water from Kern County flowing into the Santa Clarita Valley, said Dan Masnada, general manager for the water wholesaler.

Castaic Lake Water imports 41,000 acre feet annually, or enough water to supply more than 35,000 homes with water for an entire year. The water imported from Kern County serves as a supplemental water source that bolsters the agency's supply during a drought.

"It's one of the most significant court victories we've had," Masnada said. "If we didn't have the 41,000 acre feet, we wouldn't be able to weather the drought nearly as well."

The agency provides 50 percent of the water supply in the SCV. The rest comes from groundwater.

More than 10 years of court battles have threatened water that the agency imports from the Wheeler Ridge Maricopa Water Storage District in Kern County. The initial environmental report was deemed inadequate after a series of legal challenges, one of which was filed by Friends of the Santa Clara River.

While those legal battles dragged on, Castaic Lake Water continued to import water from Kern County.

Thursday's decision ensures that the water agency will be able to continue piping in the supplemental supply for years to come.


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