The Public Water Agencies Group is an informal association of 17 public water agencies who provide various types of water service throughout Los Angeles County – from Antelope Valley in northern L.A. County down through the San Gabriel foothills and into the eastern and southern sections of the County. The Group consists of retail water districts, irrigation districts and wholesale municipal water districts, as well as a watermaster.
The Group was formed in the early 1960’s to provide a regional association where members’ managers could periodically meet to exchange ideas, discuss common problems, share solutions, and cost share on various mutually beneficial resources. Although not intended to be a litigating entity, the Group was involved in a reported appellate court decision, Public Water Agencies Group v. Consolidated Fire Protection District of Los Angeles County (1983) 145 Cal.App.3d 698), when it sued the Consolidated Fire Protection District of Los Angeles County regarding whether water agencies were required to provide free water to fire departments. The Group was successful in that litigation, obtaining a precedential ruling that water districts were not obligated to provide water free of charge to fire departments.
Through the years, the Group has also been involved in administrative and regulatory matters, including negotiation of the County Water Ordinance, National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit and MS4 Permit issues, Flood Control District permits, and excavation and encroachment permit issues. The Group also serves as a clearinghouse for legislative matters that may impact water agencies in Los Angeles County and will take positions on bills that may positively or negatively impact the Group’s members.
The Group continues to focus on current issues of concern among public agency water suppliers, including water use efficiency requirements, water quality issues, rate-setting and compliance with Propositions 218 and 26, legislative matters, discharge permitting and emergency preparedness, where the Group is taking a leading role in establishing a county-wide, water-oriented emergency management and assistance network.