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SCV water officials eye conservation measures in light of drought

Posted: February 3, 2014 6:47 p.m.
Updated: February 3, 2014 6:47 p.m.

State water officials have turned off the tap that supplies half of Santa Clarita Valley’s water as California’s dry fall and early winter slides into a dry late winter with no sign of relief.

The Castaic Lake Water Agency, which sells Northern California water to local retailers, learned Friday that it would see no allocations of that water this year.

State Department of Water Resources officials had said late last year that allocations might be just 5 percent of the amount requested by Castaic Lake and other water wholesalers who receive northern water through the State Water Project and sell it to retailers.

But on Friday they said there would be no water at all.

“As a result, everyone — farmers, fish, and people in our cities and towns — will get less water,” department Director Mark Cowin said. “The department’s actions are in direct response to Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s drought state of emergency.”

“We’re going to have to try and start conserving every last drop of water,” Dan Masnada, general manager of the Castaic Lake Water Agency, said Monday.

“Mother Nature needs to kick back in,” he said of the lack of precipitation.

Tuesday afternoon, Masnada meets with representatives of Santa Clarita Valley’s four water retailers and officials from both the city and the county to discuss the ramifications of the drought.

Those at the meeting will consider “short-term water projections” and a “Stage 1 drought declaration,” which focuses on water conservation.

The forecast for the Santa Clarita Valley remains considerably better than for some communities around the state whose water supplies are literally drying up. Santa Clarita Valley residents sit atop two aquifers and an underground river.

The water meeting is scheduled at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt



ricketzz: Posted: February 4, 2014 6:38 a.m.

Is this the same guy who has been saying "no problem" all winter long? Don't we have at least a year's worth of water "banked" underneath the Antelope Valley?

Can we use grey water if we don't use phosphates?

garyr: Posted: February 4, 2014 12:02 p.m.

And there's all that perfectly good water that we are dumping in the dry river bed by the bike path under Bouquet.

They changed the law a few years ago and you can use grey water for residential use.

CastaicClay: Posted: February 4, 2014 2:49 p.m.

Perfectly good water? The water under the bridge at Bouquet comes from the sewage treatment plant on the other side of the RR tracks.

Allan_Cameron: Posted: February 5, 2014 6:43 a.m.

To "garyr". Please be ultra careful when you say "you can use grey water for residential use".

"residential use" implies the water could be used for all uses. That is absolutely not true, and would be dangerous is such water were consumed, bathed in, used for cooking, or used for washing of clothes.

A separate plumbing system, usually called "purple pipe" is needed to supply such "grey water" to customers. Using it is great, if the use is confined to watering landscaping. No homes in the SCV are currently plumbed with a dual system that includes purple pipe for "grey water".

garyr: Posted: February 5, 2014 10:04 a.m.

Yes, the water coming from the sewage treatment plant is perfectly good water. The person that gave the school field trip tours used to drink it straight from the pipe as a demonstration until TPTB made him stop.

Instead of residential use I should have said landscaping use. It used to be against the law to divert water from your shower or tub to water plants and now it is legal.

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