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Articles

Quagga mussel concerns nix thought of Casitas water deals that could spread infestation

Perry Van Houten, Ojai Valley News reporter
Casitas Municipal Water District (CMWD) directors say they want no part in water deals that could lead to the spread of invasive mussels — even those that don’t threaten Lake Casitas.
In February, the Board discussed a proposed sale of Table A state water to United Water Conservation District (UWCD).
“I almost fell out of my seat,” said Russ Baggerly, CMWD director, concerned that water could become infested with quagga mussels as it passes through Pyramid or Castaic lakes, where quaggas have been found.
Supplying the water to Lake Piru for discharge into lower Piru Creek and the Santa Clara River could violate state law by contributing to the spread of quaggas within state waters, and could expose CMWD to litigation and financial liability, he said.
The sale also could bring quaggas closer to Lake Casitas, something the District can't allow, stated Baggerly, who sits on CMWD's Quagga Mussel Committee.
“It doesn't seem to bother United, but it bothers me,” he said.

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