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Water Agencies Already Pulling From Reserves Amid Drought

With Santa Clarita and the rest of California in the middle of a drought period, the Castaic Lake Water Agency has had to dip into the reserves for the first time in several years.

There are four different water companies in Santa Clarita; Valencia Water, Newhall County Water Company, Santa Clarita Water and L.A. County Waterworks District #36. Castaic Lake Water Agency (CLWA) is the wholesaler that acquires and distributes the water to the local companies, who in turn deliver it to our faucets.

During plentiful years, CLWA stores reserve amounts of water in areas just north of Santa Clarita, to be used in the case of a drought. Well, after three years of drought conditions, CLWA has begun taking water from the reserves to compensate for local water needs.

“We haven’t had to pull much water out of the banks, because fortunately the residents in the valley have done a good job of conserving water,” said Jeff Ford, with CLWA.

But those needs will only become more dire in the years to come, thanks to a court-ordered halt to much state water project water, due to environmental concerns in the Sacramento Delta area. That has lowered the amount of total water available to the southland, and made those reserves all the more important.

And while CLWA has been good about storing reserve water, the future is far too uncertain to continue using water at the current rate. 

“It is critical…just like you don’t want to keep withdrawing from your checking account and get lower and lower, it is critical that we continue to conserve water,” Ford said.

One major cure for the Delta-area crisis could be the construction of a separate conveyance system around it, however that solution would require a water bond to be passed and take about 10 years to become operational.

In the meantime, state legislators are looking at ways to ease the water burden by capturing more rain water and exploring the scientific advancements of desalinization and recycled water. 

Until, and likely long after a solution is found, residents will continue to be reminded of easy ways to save water. The largest source of poorly managed water use for a residential property is landscaping. By maximizing proven watering techniques and utilizing new weather-intelligent systems, consumers can lower their water usage dramatically. That could make all the difference as the battle for water rages on in southern California.

To learn more about these advancements and to see everyday conservation tips check out www.clwa.org