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Wells help SCV avoid drought

Officials predict mandatory rationing won't be needed here

Posted: June 11, 2008 2:08 a.m.
Updated: August 12, 2008 5:02 a.m.
When local water officials crunched water consumption numbers this week, those numbers might have tasted a bit diffierent - perhaps a bit sweeter - in light of last week's dire drought proclamation made by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Members of the Castaic Lake Water Agency's Retail Operations Committee reviewed the amount of water produced and sold by its retail arm at a meeting Monday night at the Rio Vista Water Treatment Plant overlooking Central Park on Bouquet Canyon Road.

The latest numbers show that a little less than half the water produced by wells run by the Santa Clarita Water Division and consumed by Santa Clarita Valley residents in the first four months of this year was produced from local alluvium wells.

A dozen SCWD wells across Santa Clarita Valley produced a total of 3,506 acre-feet of water so far this year, a number just a wee bit less than the amount of water obtained from the state through the State Water Project, which totaled 3,906 acre-feet of water.

The water produced by SCWD wells in April could have filled 15,272,136 regular-sized bathtubs.

On Wednesday, citing two straight years of below-average rainfall, very low snowmelt runoff and the largest court-ordered water transfer restrictions in state history, Schwarzenegger proclaimed a statewide drought and issued an executive order addressing a "dire situation," with many California communities being forced to mandate water conservation or rationing.

In response, local water officials told The Signal that mandatory rationing was not likely to happen in the Santa Clarita Valley this year.

The agency's retail committee members are expected to scrutinize the latest water production numbers in the context of what the governor has described as dwindling state resources.

Local wells owned and operated by the Santa Clarita Water Division have been producing more water every month since January, according to water production numbers prepared for the committee.

In January, the dozen SCWD wells produced 679 acre-feet of water (enough to fill almost three million bathtubs), with subsequent months producing: in February, 710 acre-feet; in March, 1,033 acre-feet; and in April, 1,084 acre-feet.

Comparatively, a monthly breakdown of water purchased from the state shows: in January, 750 acre feet; in February, 691 acre feet; in March, 1,194 acre feet and, in April, 1,273 acre feet.

The SCWD wells produce only a portion of the well water accessed in Santa Clarita Valley since SCWD is one of four water retailers, the others include: the Newhall County Water District, the Valencia Water Company and the Los Angeles County Waterworks District No. 36.

The SCWD is a division of the Castaic Lake Water Agency.


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