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Knight Introduces Bill To Bring Clean Water To Santa Clarita

Legislation Would Help Develop New Water Recycling Projects

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Washington, February 24, 2016 | comments


Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) introduced legislation on Wednesday that would give a boost to longstanding efforts to clean the Eastern Santa Clara River Basin and provide fresh water to the Santa Clarita Valley.

For decades, numerous drinking water wells in Santa Clarita have sat unused because they are contaminated with potentially harmful chemicals known as Perchlorates, which were improperly disposed of after the Cold War. The Castaic Lake Water Agency (CWLA) has studied the impacts of these closed wells and concluded that additional water is needed to offset the "lost" water supply. Rep. Knight’s bill, titled the Castaic Drinking Water Act, would authorize the Bureau of Reclamation to fund new water supply programs associated with communities impacted by perchlorate contamination plumes, like the Santa Clarita Valley, in order to restore lost local groundwater supply and decrease dependence on imported water supplies.

"Congressman Steve Knight has once again shown his leadership on a very important issue in this community: clean and reliable water supply. Through this legislation, our community will be able to develop a local cost-effective water resource,” said CLWA Board Chairman Tom Campbell. “On issue after issue, Congressman Knight gets the importance of the Federal involvement on critical local needs like water infrastructure."

This is not the first time Rep. Knight has taken action on the Perchlorates in the Santa Clara River Basin. Last May, he sent a letter to Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick of the Army Corps of Engineers requesting that the agency prioritize and provide funds for the Saugus Groundwater Wells Project. This initiative, like the Castaic Drinking Water Act would help replace nearly 5.4 million gallons per day in lost capacity of potable groundwater.

"Again, Representative Knight recognizes the importance of the local issues. Water supply is perhaps the most critical inhibitor for economic prosperity in our State,” said Assemblyman Scott Wilk. “Through his thoughtful leadership and this legislation, Congressman Knight is helping to solve problems in our community."

Rep. Knight said that while clean drinking water is a top priority for him in Congress, legislation like this is only made possible by the hard work of community leaders, many of whom have worked on issues like this one locally for years.

“Preserving the quality of our local groundwater will be greatly helped by this legislation,” added Santa Clarita City Councilwoman Laurene Weste. “I thank the congressman for his leadership on this issue and continued support of our community."

The Castaic Drinking Water Act was introduced on Wednesday and now awaits assignment to committee. Rep. Knight hopes his bill and others that assist with California’s water crisis will be considered this year.

“Even with the rain from El Nino, the drought in our state is a national emergency and Congressional action is needed to increase our drinking water supply,” said Representative Knight. “This legislation is a local priority that would bring relief to communities that are still struggling with the water crisis.”

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