Castaic Lake Water Agency and Newhall County Water District have issued a statement refuting Consumer Watchdog’s assertion that Senate Bill 634 benefits the proposed Newhall Ranch development.
The statement was in response to the Business Journal’s Oct. 9 coverage of Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica-based organization that questioned whether Gov. Jerry Brown should support SB 634 because his sister sits on the board of Five Point Holdings, developer of Newhall Ranch.
SB 634, introduced by State Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Lancaster), would dissolve Castaic Lake Water Agency and Newhall County Water District and replace them with a single water agency. The bill passed the legislature and is awaiting Brown’s decision.
In a statement, the water agencies cited the legislation’s language and said the act will not affect the application of any law to the development of property.
“The bill does not benefit Newhall Ranch or any other land development in Santa Clarita Valley,” the statement said. “Further, the bill would not make any more water available to Newhall Ranch.”
It added that the new agency will bring cost savings for ratepayers and expand recycled water use.
Consumer Watchdog had raised concerns by stating the bill would ensure that Five Point Holdings’ Newhall Ranch project would have “plentiful access to water in a thirsty desert,” adding Kathleen Brown, the governor’s sister sits on the Five Point board.
Steve Greyshock, representing the two water agencies, said the bill would not make any more water available to Newhall Ranch than what it is already slated to receive from Valencia Water Co., which is already part of the Castaic Lake Water Agency.
Consumer Watchdog could not be reached for a comment before press time.