2005 Urban Water Management Plan Challenged
The California Water Impact Network (C-WIN) and Friends of the Santa Clara River have filed suit in Ventura County Superior Court on February 28 to overturn Castaic Lake Water Agency's (CLWA) adoption last November of its Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP) for the Santa Clara River Valley in northwest Los Angeles County and eastern Ventura County. CLWA's UWMP proposes significant increases in ground- and surface water supplies to the Santa Clarita Valley, enabling its population to nearly double, to over 400,000 people, within the next two decades. We oppose the plan because it assumes that CLWA's water deliveries from the State Water Project will continue to grow, despite numerous environmental constraints on diverting additional water from the Sacramento River-Sacramento River Delta and on transferring State Water Project water from Kern County. We also believe that CLWA's proposal to increase groundwater pumping in the Santa Clara River Valley is unwise, in light of the continuing spread of ammonium perchlorate, a rocket fuel used for years by the Defense Department and its contractors, throughout the aquifers underlying this valley.
CWIN, whose board includes prominent conservation leaders from throughout California, was highly critical of CLWA's UWMP. According to C-WIN president Carolee Krieger, "CLWA's decision to base its UWMP on an unlawful transfer of State Water Project water from Kern County to Los Angeles County in order to unleash unsustainable urban sprawl in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties unlawfully privatizes the State Water Project. CLWA has defied repeated court rulings which declare that only the State Department of Water Resources, not individual water project contractors, has the authority to reallocate State Water Project water among prospective users within the state." "CLWA, a small local water district, is trying to dictate a reallocation of the State Water Project's water from the rest of the state," added Ms. Krieger.