An Editorial from the Castaic Lake Water Agency
The Santa Clarita Valley’s water suppliers have completed a study of the area’s groundwater resources, which shows that groundwater pumping can continue at current rates without the risk of overdrafting water from the groundwater basin. The study builds on previous groundwater basin yield studies and concludes that continuation of the region’s current operating plan is sustainable.
“As the source of about half of our region’s drinking water supply, it is imperative that we regularly review our valley’s groundwater operations,” stated Robert DiPrimio President of the Valencia Water Company. “The findings confirm that we can continue to depend on groundwater without depleting our resources.”
The Valley’s groundwater comes from local wells, which extend up to 200 feet into the Alluvial Aquifer beneath the Santa Clara River and its tributaries and up to 2,000 feet into the much deeper Saugus Formation. Groundwater is then disinfected and pumped by local water retailers before entering their distribution systems for delivery to local homes and businesses.
The report was developed by Luhdorff and Scalmanini, Consulting Engineers and Groundwater Solutions, Inc., who modeled both the Alluvial Aquifer and the Saugus Formation and then ran a series of operational scenarios, taking into account both the historic groundwater recharge potential and proposed pumping from the two aquifers. Results of the study were presented at a joint meeting of the Castaic Lake Water Agency (CLWA) and Newhall County Water District Boards of Directors on Wednesday, August 12.
“In addition to testing scenarios based on current water use, this updated study also assesses the potential impact of several climate change scenarios,” said Steve Cole, General Manager of the Newhall County Water District. “The modeling showed that the groundwater basin yields would be sustained under the varying scenarios of climate change and groundwater pumping.”
Mauricio Guardado, Retail Manager of the Santa Clarita Water Division said, “As water resource managers we continually strive to manage and utilize our groundwater resources in a sustainable manner. This scientifically shows and validates that our current operational policies are sustainable and will meet the Santa Clarita Valley’s needs for generations to come.”
The study supports the Valley’s state-mandated 2005 Urban Water Management Plan, which will be updated in 2010 and projects the Valley’s overall water demands and supplies for the next 30 years.
“This study confirms that our management of Valley groundwater resources over the years has been effective,” said CLW General Manager Dan Masnada. “This team of water suppliers has been working together for years to guarantee water for our future and this plan confirms that the groundwater operations will continue to do that.”
The Valley’s water agencies include the Castaic Lake Water Agency, the CLWA Santa Clarita Water Division, Los Angeles County Waterworks District No. 36, Newhall County Water District and Valencia Water Company.