March 2023

Board of Director Meetings

Monday, March 13, 2023; 8 a.m. - The March 2023 Board of Directors meeting will be held at the District’s headquarters office located at 1402 N. Vosburg Drive, Azusa, California 91702. Board members and staff will attend the meeting in person. Due to limited spacing, we are still making the meeting available to the public via video conference.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 890 1330 6120

Passcode: 512838

Dial by your location (669) 444-9171

Save the Date: April Board Meeting – Monday, April 10, 2023;

8 a.m.

Quick Links 

District Brochure


Annual Report

Board of Directors

Water Saving Tips




As Storms Provide Significant Short-Term Relief to Reservoirs, Snowpack and Groundwater, Public Information Ad Overviews Steps the District is Taking Toward a Sustainable Water Supply

The District is participating in a supplement inserted into the Los Angeles Times discussing the sustainability of our water supplies in the State and the San Gabriel Valley. Our “public information ad” points out that beginning in late December 2022, California experienced a succession of storms that has created short-term relief to reservoirs, many of which are now near or at capacity, and snowpack, which is nearly double normal levels. It states groundwater supplies are improving also but will take more time for stormwater runoff to percolate down to groundwater levels.

The District’s message is to “stay the course” on a variety of long-term water supply initiatives including the District’s $2.68 million commitment to the Delta Conveyance Plan which would increase sustainability of State Water Project “imported” water supplies, more than $8 million of loans and grants the District has provided to its member cities for water infrastructure and conservation projects, and the District’s support of the Metropolitan Water District’s Pure Water Southern California recycled water program which would add about 150 million gallons of purified wastewater to our local water supply.

Department of Water Resources Again Increases State Water Project Supplies to State Water Contractors (SGVMWD) for 2023

Recent storms continue to boost reservoirs, snowpack and river flows that feed the state aqueduct. Thus, in February, the California Department of Water Resources, which operates the State Water Project (SWP) which delivers imported water from northern to central and southern California, announced an increase in allocations to 35% for public water agencies (such as SGVMWD) who receive water from the Stater Water Project. This is the second increase in as many months. For SGVMWD, this represents an increase to 10,080 acre-feet of water available to replenish local groundwater.

Imported water supplements local groundwater supplies in the Main San Gabriel Basin and Raymond Basin, the primary sources of water for the District’s member cities of Alhambra, Azusa, Monterey Park, and Sierra Madre. The planned allocation may be adjusted in the future based on hydrological conditions.




Operations Update


The District is pleased with the State’s announcement to increase State Water Project allocations to state water contractors, such as SGVMWD, to 35% of plan after continued rain, snow and runoff following recent storms. The increase means the District will receive 10,080 acre-feet of imported water to use for replenishment of groundwater in the Main San Gabriel Basin. In February, District operations included delivery of 341 acre-feet of water to Covina Irrigating Company on behalf of Three Valleys Municipal Water District.

About 80 percent of the Valley’s water supply is furnished by local groundwater, and the Valley imports about 20 percent of the water we use from northern California and the Colorado River. A 60 percent allocation is needed to meet the demand of our member cities for replacement water. Thus, in years where the allocation dips below that amount, we see the important role that water storage and water conservation play.



Historic Storms Providing Significant Relief to Water Supplies

The graphics above provide a “snapshot” of how our local drought and water supply conditions have improved in 2023. Significant winter storm activity in February enhanced positive trends in state and local reservoir, snowpack and groundwater conditions. As many reservoirs are approaching capacity, snowpack is nearly double normal levels, and local groundwater, which improves more slowly due to the time it takes stormwater runoff to percolate down to groundwater levels, has risen more than 10 feet year-to-date. 

It’s important to remember we live in a dry region where drought is normal, water supplies are limited, and climate change makes the work of water planning and delivery very challenging. The reality remains that if we’re not in a drought, we are probably either getting into one or recovering from one. And while conservation rates in the Valley and our member cities have improved in the past few months, we are not achieving the 15% voluntary reductions called for by the Governor in July 2021, or the 25% conservation levels achieved in the most recent drought. 

It’s still too early to conclude the drought is over. Let’s save water now when it’s wet…for when it’s dry. We’ll need multiple above-average rain and snow years to recover from the current drought.


Groundwater in the Main San Gabriel Basin, the “Baldwin Park Key Well” is the indicator of local groundwater levels (see graph – blue line includes cyclic storage; black line does not). As of March 1, 2023, the level increased significantly to 189.7 feet above mean sea level compared to 179.4 feet in February and 178.9 feet in January. The Basin had experienced a steady decline in groundwater levels from a high of 212.5 feet above mean sea level in December 2019 and were trending downward toward the historic low of 169.4 recorded on November 21, 2018. Watermaster’s operating guidelines for replacement water or “safe yield” is between 200 and 250 feet above mean sea level. 


Note: Groundwater use accounts for 41% of California’s total water supply (80% in the San Gabriel Valley) on an average, annual basis, and as much as 58% in a critically dry year. About 85% of public water systems rely on groundwater as their primary supply. Of water diverted and pumped in California, about 80% is used by agriculture and 20% is used by cities and towns.

Imported Water – In February, the California Department of Water Resources increased State Water Project allocations to State Water Contractors such as SGVMWD for 2023 to 35%, the highest level since 2019. Imported water is used to supplement local groundwater supplies in the Main San Gabriel Basin. The graph below shows how imported water allocations fluctuate over time.

Note: Two-thirds of California’s water originates in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and flows through the Delta, a large inland river delta and estuary in northern California.

Local Rainfall – the LA County Department of Public Works (DPW) reports annual rainfall levels from October 1 to September 30 of each year. As of March 1, 2023, the DPW headquarters location in Alhambra had recorded 27.47 inches of rain, about 154% of average (average annual rainfall at this location is 17.83 inches). The graph below shows both annual rainfall totals dating back to 1960, as well as the major drought cycles since then.

Statewide Snow Pack – as of early March 2023, the snow water equivalent had increased to 44.7 inches from 33.7 inches in February, which is 171% of the April 1 average and 190% of normal for this date (snowpack is measured from April 1 to March 31, a 12-month period). April 1 is usually the “high point” for snow accumulation each year.


Note: On average, the Sierra Nevada Mountains snowpack, which is a key source of water banked in reservoirs, supplies about 30% of California’s water needs as it melts in the spring and early summer, feeding reservoirs and the water table, resulting in groundwater. The snowpack is often referred to as California’s “frozen reservoir.”


Statewide Reservoir Levels – statewide, as of January 31, 2023, (the latest data available to us), reservoir levels had risen to 98% of average and 58% of capacity. As of March 4, 2023, storage levels at Shasta Lake, the state’s largest reservoir, were 61% of capacity and 83% of the historical average for this date, and storage levels at Lake Oroville, the state’s second largest reservoir, were 74% of capacity and 116% of the historical average.

Locally, San Gabriel Reservoir was at 249% of average and Cogswell Reservoir was at 203% of average. During the current drought, low precipitation levels, high temperatures, hot and dry soil, and high levels of evaporation decreased stormwater runoff from surface levels to replenish both reservoirs and local groundwater supplies.


Note: Every winter, most areas need about 12 inches of rainfall before the ground is saturated enough to get large amounts of runoff into streams and reservoirs. California’s reservoirs generally hold enough water to go one dry year without impacts but begin to empty if a wet year does not follow.




New!! "Seed" Grants for Schools to Help Fund Local

Earth Day Educational Activities

Earth Day is April 22. The District’s popular and long-running Opportunities for Water Leadership Community Grant Program (O.W.L. Grants) is offering grants ranging from $500-$1,500 to schools for Earth Day related educational activities THIS APRIL!! 

We are streamlining the application process for these grants to make it even easier for you to apply and receive funding. Applications and additional information about the program will be posted soon on the District’s website (www.sgvmwd.com). You may contact Evelyn Reyes, External Affairs Manager (626-969-7911; info @sgvmwd.com), for more information. 

We intend to use the “seed” grants to spur new “Earth Day” environmental and water education activities and to build new, long-term partnerships at schools and non-profit organizations on this special day. We expect the seed grants to lead to more comprehensive educational initiatives with our Earth Day partners in the future. 

Examples of the types of activity we’d like to fund this Earth Day are school rallies and events, poster contests, essay contests, planting of water-wise vegetation, acquisition of rain barrels, field trips, guest speakers, video projects and more. We challenge your creativity to create the best activity for your school or organization!

The District has funded dozens of such proposals in the past decade and looks forward to working with you! For details on the O.W.L. Grant Program, to apply for a grant online, or to learn about recent grant recipients, please visit our website (www.sgvmwd.com).

The District’s O.W.L. Grants Program was featured in September 2022 by ABC-Channel 7 to help encourage water conservation as part of its “Water-Wise Wednesday” community feature. The entire news segment may be viewed with the link below.

ABC 7: Save Water Wednesday Video

2023 Rebate Program – Save Water and Save Money!


The District has enhanced its water conservation programs to help you save water and money. Our new irrigation system retrofit program features 1) a FREE irrigation system inspection; 2) replacement of an existing irrigation controller with a FREE, new programmed unit; and 3) FREE installation of new sprinkler nozzles on existing pop-up spray heads. Since January 2022, EcoTech has performed 257 site assessments. 236 weather-based “smart” controllers have been installed in 215 properties and 5,766 sprinkler nozzles have been upgraded to water-efficient rotating nozzles. The approximate cost/value per landscape to date is $1,136. Funding is limited, so please review the informational flyers below and on our website and act as soon as possible.


Residents in Alhambra, Monterey Park and Sierra Madre may apply for rebates on the District’s website (www.sgvmwd.com). Residents in all our member cities may apply for the irrigation retrofit program by contacting our partner, EcoTech Services (866-308-8391 or ecotechservices.net).




Cooler, Rainy Weather? Spring Around the Corner? It's a Great Time to Implement Water-Wise Gardening Tips


With winter upon us and spring around the corner, the District is extending water conservation resource for our member cities. Working with information provided by the California Native Plant Society, and their very informative Calscape website (www.calscape.org), the District created water-wise gardening tips customized to meet the unique climates of our four member cities – Alhambra, Azusa, Monterey Park and Sierra Madre. 


Fall and winter are the best time of the year to plant new water-wise vegetation, to give plants and their roots time to become established before hot, dry weather resumes next spring and summer. The gardening tips recommend California Native plants suitable for each city, as well as local nurseries and landscape supply stores at which the plants may be purchased. As more and more residents change out their old, water-intensive lawns and gardens for hardscapes and drought-tolerant vegetation, these tips will save water and save money!


2023 Speakers' Bureau and H2Owl Appearances

With the new year upon us, the District will continue to support and attend a variety of in-person community events. District representatives are available to make informational and educational presentations (in-person and virtually) at community and business meetings, city council and school board meetings and business/chamber meetings. 

The District is looking forward to supporting and participating in a variety of Earth Day events planned throughout our service area this April. We will provide further details and information in our April and May newsletters.

We are also interested in attending and exhibiting at weekend/evening events in our member cities and presenting to youth and school groups. Our water conservation guru, H2Owl, is available upon request to educate and delight young people of all ages!

Our presentations cover topics such as the role of the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District; explaining drought; the importance of local groundwater; local and state water supply conditions; the State Water Project and imported water; water conservation and future water supply solutions. 

Please contact Evelyn Reyes, External Affairs Manager, for more information about public education and sponsorship opportunities, guest speaker and H2Owl appearances (info@sgvmwd.com; 626-969-7911). 


San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District www.sgvmwd.com

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube