The nonprofit residential community for developmentally disabled adults, LARC, or Los Angeles Residential Community, Ranch, officials have resorted to trucking in water as a result of dangerously low water supplies at Bouquet Canyon, officials announced Friday.
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LARC Ranch officials have spent nearly $10,000 on this costly alternative due not only to the ongoing drought, but also a governmental gridlock that has prevented the release of normal water flows from Bouquet Reservoir, according to a news release by LARC Ranch.
Related article: County Calling Bouquet Canyon Water Woes Emergency Situation
“We first started ordering water when we had a mechanical pumping issue that was related to an apparent incident of vandalism, but now we’ve come to conclude that the underground water supplies have been drawn down so low that we needed to truck in several hundred thousand gallons of water,” said Kathleen Sturkey, executive director of LARC Ranch.
While the ongoing drought has left water supplies low to begin with, debris left over from storms in 2005 has reportedly prevented the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power from honoring a contractual obligation to release water from the Bouquet Reservoir, which would replenish Bouquet Creek and the underground wells that serve LARC Ranch and other Bouquet Canyon properties, according to the news release.
With the debris clogging the creek, a normal release of water would flood Bouquet Canyon Road and create unsafe conditions, officials said.
The problem has been a bureaucratic circle of responsibility, according to longtime Bouquet Canyon resident Ron Rambin; however, he said he’s been encouraged by the recent involvement of Congressman Buck McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, who met with area residents last month.
“Right now, (the county has) people surveying the canyon for areas that need to be cleaned,” said Rambin, who’s lived in the canyon for nearly 50 years. “There’s still a required permission from the Forest Service, which has yet to be granted; we’re hopeful that the county and (McKeon’s) office will push the Forest Service to grant permission to clean the creek.”
“We rely on that water supply not only for the daily use of our residents and staff, but also for fire protection,” Sturkey said. “It’s a significant issue of both health and safety for more than 100 people here on the ranch, plus all of our neighbors in Bouquet Canyon.”
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors declared a state of emergency on Feb. 25 to help expedite a resolution to the crisis, and while Sturkey said county Supervisor Michael Antonovich and his staff have been very helpful, there is still no sign of action by the U.S. Forest Service to get the debris removed, officials said.
“We really need them to get the cleanup moving,” Sturkey said. “It’s cost us $9,400 so far to have water trucked in, and that’s obviously not an acceptable long-term solution.”
For more information about LARC Ranch, click here.
SCVNews.com contributed to this article.
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