December 2022

Board of Director Meetings

Monday, December 12, 2022; 8 a.m. - The December 2022 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 and to continue to enhance safety related to Covid-19, the public is invited to attend the meeting via video conference.

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Meeting ID: 890 1330 6120

Passcode: 512838

Dial by your location (669) 444-9171

Save the Date: January Board Meeting – Monday, January 9, 2022;

8 a.m.

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Board of Directors' News

November and December were consequential months for the District’s Board of Directors. First, Directors Mark Paulson (Division I – Alhambra), Miles Prince (Division IV – Sierra Madre), and Bruce Knoles (District V – Azusa) earned new, four-year terms and will be sworn in at the December 12, 2022, Board meeting.

Director Mark Paulson (Division I - Alhambra)

Director Miles Prince ( Division IV - Sierra Madre

Director Bruce Knoles (Division V - Azusa

Second, Director Thomas Wong, formerly Board president and representative for Division III – Monterey Park, won a city council seat in Monterey Park in the City’s November 2022 municipal election. As a result, former Director Wong, who served on the Board since 2012, and as president since 2015, resigned his Board and president positions, effective December 7, 2022. This development, and the ensuing vacancy on the District’s Board of Directors, sets in motion the following actions:

  • The District will accept applications for the vacant District III - Monterey Park Board seat until December 22, 2022, at 5:00 P.M.

  • The Board of Directors will interview eligible candidates at a Board meeting on Monday, January 9, 2023.

  • The Division III – Monterey Park Board position will be filled by appointment from the Board of Directors at its January 9, 2023 meeting.

The January 2023 newsletter will provide further updates on these Board developments.

At the December 2022 Board meeting, the Board will consider a Resolution noting and commending former Director Wong’s outstanding contributions to the District, its member cities, and the San Gabriel Valley since his initial election to the Board in 2012 and under his presidency since 2015.

State Announces Initial Allocation of

State Water Project Supplies - 5%

The California Department of Water Resources, which operates the State Water Project which delivers imported water from northern to central and southern California, announced an initial five percent 2023 water supply allocation for public water agencies (such as SGVMWD) who receive water from the Stater Water Project. Imported water supplements local groundwater supplies in the Main San Gabriel Basin and Raymond Basin, the source 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.


This marks the third consecutive year of a 5% allocation as the state enters its fourth consecutive dry year reflecting the severity of our current drought, climate change, and less than desired water supplies. This allocation underscores the need for continued conservation and investments in enhanced water supply infrastructure.

The District’s 2021-2022 Fiscal Year Annual Report Released

The District has issued its Annual Report, which summarizes District accomplishments from our fiscal year of July 1, 2021, until June 30, 2022, including financial, operations, water supply data, outreach programs, grants, and rebates. To read our Annual Report, please click on the image.




SGVMWD Operations and Local Water Delivery Update 



The District delivered 595 acre-feet of imported water to the Main San Gabriel Basin at the San Gabriel Canyon Spreading Grounds in October as part of its State Water Project allocation. Our water deliveries for the 2022 calendar year were completed on December 7.


The State set the allocation to State Water Contractors such as the District at 5% in March 2022. The State recently announced an initial 5% allocation for 2023. This will be the third consecutive year of a 5% allocation, a historic first for water contractors such as the District. A 5% allocation means the District will deliver 1,440 AF of water (of its planned 28,800 AF) from the State Water Project to underground storage in the Main San Gabriel Basin. Coupled with ongoing drought and the long-term impacts of climate change, this is a significant challenge to the Valley’s ability to supplement local groundwater supplies. The final allocation is determined in April.


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 plays.



Severe Drought Conditions Continue with Water Supplies Statewide and Locally Well Below Desired Levels

* Note: Beginning in late October, we are utilizing precipitation data provided by the LA County Department of Public Works which records rainfall amounts from October 1 through September 30 of each year. We use rainfall data recorded at their headquarters location in Alhambra. Previously, we used data provided by LA Almanac from a location at the Santa Fe Dam recorded from July 1 through June 30 of each year.


Summary - The present 3-year drought has been established as the driest three years ever recorded in California. U.S. Drought Monitor maps reveal nearly all of California is classified under moderate or severe drought. Water supply conditions - groundwater, local reservoirs, stormwater runoff, rainfall, and statewide snow pack and reservoirs - each remain well below desired levels.


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. Mandatory reductions, rationing and price increases remain a possibility if water supply conditions worsen and conservation efforts lag. Please follow guidelines in your city.


We’ll need multiple above-average rain and snow years to recover from the current drought. Except for two brief respites, the past decade has been one of consistent drought conditions.


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 late November 2022, the level increased slightly to 179.7 feet above mean sea level. The Basin has experienced a steady decline in groundwater levels from a high of 212.5 feet above mean sea level in December 2019. Recent levels have continued 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 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 March 2022, the California Department of Water Resources reduced its allocation of imported water to State Water Contractors such as SGVMWD from zero to 5% (for the second consecutive year). On December 1, 2022, the State announced a 5% allocation plan for 2023. 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 and how deliveries have been reduced significantly for three years in succession, hindering our ability to replenish local groundwater supplies in the Main San Gabriel Basin.

Local Rainfall – the LA County Department of Public Works (DPW) reports annual rainfall levels from October 1 to September 30 of each year. For the DPW headquarters location in Alhambra, 3.45 inches of rain have been recorded to date, about 19% of average (the average annual rainfall at this location is 17.83 inches).


Statewide Snow Pack – as of November 30, 2022, statewide, snow water equivalent was 3.1 inches, which is 11% of the April 1 average and 103% of normal for this date (snow pack 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.


Statewide Reservoir Levels – as of November 29, 2022, storage levels at Shasta Lake, the state’s largest reservoir, were 57% of average and 31% of capacity, and storage levels at Lake Oroville, the state’s second largest reservoir, were 55% of average and 27% of capacity. Both declined from October of this year. 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.




ABC-Channel 7 Features “Opportunities for Water Leadership (O.W.L.) Community Grant Program” on its “Save Water Wednesday” Program

The District’s O.W.L. Grants Program was featured in September by ABC-Channel 7 to help encourage water conservation. As part of its “Save Water Wednesday” community feature, the ABC-Channel 7 visited the Sierra Madre Community Nursery School and Sierra Madre Post Office (Sierra Madre Community Foundation), each of which has benefited from “O.W.L. Grants” to improve the efficiency of irrigation systems and to promote conservation with youth, parents and staff.

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.

ABC 7: Save Water Wednesday Video

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. The program has a value of up to $1,000 per applicant and funding is limited, so please act as soon as possible. Please review the informational flyers below.


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 Weather? It’s a Great Time to Implement Water-Wise Gardening Tips in Our Member Cities


As Fall has arrived, the District is offering a new 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!


San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District www.sgvmwd.com

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