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Panel answers questions about call to cut water use in SCV

Posted: March 30, 2016 1:28 p.m.
Updated: March 30, 2016 4:46 p.m.
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If the call for Santa Clarita Valley residents to stop watering their lawns next week fails to yield a noticeable drop in water use, then water officials are prepared to issue a stronger, louder, clearer message.

“By the middle of next week, if we don’t see a reduction, then we will amplify our message,” said Matt Stone, general manager of the SCV’s water wholesaler, the Castaic Lake Water Agency.

During a sit-down “roundtable” discussion Wednesday with reporters at the agency’s Rio Vista Water Treatment Plant in Saugus, Stone answered questions about the agency’s request that residents halt all outdoor watering April 4-11.

The water officials said they anticipate a week’s worth of water saved by not watering yards would conserve about 20 percent of water normally used.

During that week, the agency will be unable to draw water it usually gets from Castaic Lake. That water comes from Northern California.

“We’ll be living off our stored water and local water,” including groundwater, Stone said.

Approximately half the water Santa Clarita Valley ratepayers receive comes from Northern California through the State Water Project; the rest comes from local sources.

Next week, however, the California Department of Water Resources, which owns and operates Castaic Lake, is scheduled to make repairs to the water outlet tower at the lake.

Simultaneously, maintenance and repair work will be carried out by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which is entitled to receive the lion’s share of Castaic Lake water. Its repairs will focus on improving its Foothill Feeder pipeline.

During Wednesday’s roundtable talks, Stone and representatives of the valley’s three main water retailers were asked what would happen if repair work takes longer than a week to complete.

Stone said any repairs requiring more than a week to complete would be scheduled for a later date.

jholt@signalscv.com
661-287-5527
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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