At the Las Virgenes Metropolitan Water District’s board meeting this past week, General Manager John Mundy and staff gave the Board of Directors a verbal update on the water storage tank project. At that meeting, the Board instructed staff to schedule a special meeting about the Districts Backbone Improvement Program (including the 5 million gallon water storage tank proposed above Three Springs) which will include a “re-evaluation” on both the needs, and details, of the proposed. Put more directly, the water district is considering whether all the parts of the project are still necessary, and if there are alternative ways to accomplish their goals or even implement the plan.
The Board’s actions are in direct response to issues raised by the public during the December 13th LVMWD regular board meeting when the Board of Directors was expected to vote to approve the proposed water tank storage project.
The instruction by the Board is primarily the work of three board members. Director Barry Steinhardt has been raising whether the tank is necessary. Directors Charles Caspary and Joe Bowman reportedly have requested more background details on the backbone improvements and evaluation of information on alternative access routes.
Specifically, the single-topic workshop “will include a re-evaluation on the needs behind the project and its elements” and “consolidation of all the information gathered to date, the exploration and evaluation of alternate routes for construction traffic to the reservoir site, including routing through Triunfo Creek Park, a traffic management plan for the selected routing option, an examination of the environmental constraints and consideration of abandoning the 36-inch pipeline that parallels Three Springs Drive in Westlake Village, in some cases running beneath the back yards of homes built after the reservoir was constructed.”
According to LVMWD, the Backbone Improvement Program has been “part of LVMWDs long-term strategy to improve east-west flow through the District and to provide capacity for future growth in the region.” John R. Mundy, LVMWDs General Manager continued with “The primary function of the District is to assure a safe, dependable supply of water for public health, safety, and fire-fighting. However, water managers must respond to changes in the region they serve. At one time, it was anticipated the Las Virgenes region would have a population of nearly 250,000. Redirections in citizen priorities that embraced open space and controlled growth were major changes that occurred in the last two decades. However, we know some growth will continue and new demands, such as the emergence of agriculture, and more specifically vineyards in the region, present new challenges.”
Mr. Mundy went on to explain that the current lull in new housing construction, and currently reduced water demand, “will allow the District’s board to review the Backbone plan and will not pose an immediate concern regarding system reliability.”
The special workshop and board meeting have not yet been scheduled.