November 2023

Board of Director Meetings

Monday, November 13, 2023; 8 a.m. - The November 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: December Board Meeting – Monday, December 11, 2023; 8 a.m.

Quick Links 

District Brochure

Annual Report

Board of Directors

Water Saving Tips




Alhambra Debate Tournament on Water and Climate Policy with SGVMWD

alhambra high school debate 2023

Alhambra High School's debate team organized a debate tournament, proudly sponsored by the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District through the OWL Community Grant Program. This tournament hosted over 200 students from 15 schools and put the spotlight on essential water and climate policy issues. By highlighting critical policy issues, the tournament is poised to spark a passion for environmental stewardship among the next generation of leaders.

Vice President Steven Placido and Director Mike Eng presented the OWL grant check to the Alhambra High School Speech and Debate team following the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the two day event.

Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Available

Each year the District produces an Annual Report focusing on accomplishments in the most recent fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) and a look forward to major goals and objectives for the new year. It features a letter from Board President Mark Paulson and General Manager Darin Kasamoto, as well as information about how we are working with water managers throughout the San Gabriel Valley to maximize the benefits of last winter’s storms and to maintain our water supply improvements. 

READ: 2022-2023 Annual Report




Operations Update


Following the April 20, 2023, announcement that State Water Project (SWP) allocations to state water contractors, such as SGVMWD, were being increased to 100% of plan for the first time since 2006, the benefits have continued to flow to the Main San Gabriel Basin and our member cities. The increase means the District will be allocated 28,800 acre-feet of imported water in 2023 to deliver and use for replenishment of groundwater in the Main San Gabriel Basin.

We are working closely with state and county water agencies to utilize available capacity in reservoirs, pipelines and spreading grounds to deliver the imported water. With water delivery capacity at times challenged by the abundance of stormwater runoff and snow melt throughout the state, scheduling deliveries is complicated and requires smart water management. Some of the 2023 water deliveries will likely need to carry over into the next calendar year.

In October, the District delivered 1,863 acre-feet (AF) of water to cyclic storage and 858 AF to Covina Irrigating Company on behalf of Three Valleys Municipal Water District. The District’s Devil Canyon-Azusa Pipeline is currently being dewatered in the city of Glendora and construction for the Schedule I Pipeline Continuity Bonding/Corrosion Assessment Validation Project should begin the week of November 20, 2023. On May 15th, the District began generating power at its San Dimas Hydroelectric Facility for the City of Azusa. Power generation in October was 616.2 MWh. 

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.



California and the San Gabriel Valley are Nearly Drought-Free as We Brace for Winter and Possible El Niño Conditions

November 2023 dashboard

Water supply conditions in the state and the San Gabriel Valley remain much improved since last winter’s storms and Hurricane Hilary in the summer. And imported water allocations from the State Water Project are at 100% for the first time since 2006, meaning there is more imported water flowing to our area to help replenish groundwater levels. 

Recently, scientists with NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) indicated global ocean and surface temperatures have surged to record levels in the past few months, strengthening an El Niño condition which may lead to heavy rain in some coastal areas of California. In El Niño years, warmer waters in the eastern Pacific create an active jet stream over the southern U.S. in the winter, leading to higher chances of cool and wet weather in the southwest and warmer and drier weather in the northwest.

The graphics above show the marked improvement from January through November 2023 in state and local reservoir, snowpack and groundwater conditions, including significant lessening of drought conditions statewide. Local groundwater, which improves more slowly due to the time it takes stormwater runoff to percolate down to groundwater levels, has risen more than 50 feet year-to-date!

The Main San Gabriel Basin captured more than 95% of stormwater to supplement local groundwater supplies in the storm surge earlier this year, which is much different than other watersheds that convey the majority of their stormwater to the Pacific Ocean as a flood control measure. Data from Watermaster reveal that of the more than 500,000 acre-feet of stormwater captured this year, about 300,000 AF came from the San Gabriel River watershed.

We must remember we live in a region where most years are dry, we use more water than Mother Nature provides, infrastructure is aging, drought will return, and climate change makes the work of water planning and delivery challenging. We need to sustain our focus on investments in long-term water infrastructure and developing a long-term water conservation ethic. 

Groundwater in the Main San Gabriel Basin, the “Baldwin Park Key Well” is the indicator of local groundwater levels (see graph below – blue line includes cyclic storage; black line does not). As of November 3, 2023, the level stood at 228 feet above mean sea level.

Prior to the storms earlier this year, 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 was trending downward toward the historic low of 169.4 recorded on November 21, 2018. One vertical foot is equivalent to about 8,000 acre-feet of groundwater in the Main Basin. Watermaster’s operating guidelines for replacement water or “safe yield” is between 200 and 250 feet above mean sea level. 

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.

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 April, the California Department of Water Resources increased State Water Project allocations to State Water Contractors such as SGVMWD for 2023 to 100% for the first time since 2006. Imported water is used to supplement local groundwater supplies in the Main San Gabriel Basin.

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 November 1, the DPW headquarters location in Alhambra had recorded trace amounts of precipitation thus far in our new “water year.” We have a long way to go to match the last “water year” total of nearly 40 inches of precipitation (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.

Drought Cycle Sept 2023

Statewide Snow Pack – as of November 1, the State is reporting 0% of accumulation for its snow data, effectively starting its recordings anew as we head into the late fall and winter months. 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 September 30, 2023, (the latest statewide data available to us), reservoir levels had risen to 128% of average and 71% of capacity. As of November 1, storage levels at Shasta Lake, the state’s largest reservoir, were 69% of capacity and 129% of the historical average for this date, and storage levels at Lake Oroville, the state’s second largest reservoir, were 69% of capacity and 134% of the historical average. 

Locally, both San Gabriel Reservoir and Cogswell Reservoir are concluding sediment removal, and Lake Silverwood, which rests above San Bernardino and is adjacent to the start of the District’s Devil Canyon-Azusa Pipeline, is filled to 89% of capacity and 103 of average. 

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.




Our popular irrigation system retrofit program continues to feature 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. In fiscal year 2022-2023, EcoTech performed 278 site assessments and 235 properties qualified. 261 weather-based “smart” controllers were installed, and 6,517 sprinkler nozzles were upgraded to water-efficient rotating nozzles. The approximate cost/value per landscape is $1,169. According to the EPA, replacing a clock-based controller to a WaterSense labeled weather-based controller can save an average property 7,600 gallons/year. Our projected water savings were 1,983,600 gallons of water for FY 22-23!

Funding is limited, so please review the informational flyer below and on our website and act as soon as possible. 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). 

More Rebate Info Here




Fall Back: Water Saving Tips For Late Fall and Early Winter Months

As we recently turned our clocks back, cooler temperatures and winter storms are on the horizon. It’s a good time to follow smart water-saving practices. Please consider three actions related to our precious water resource as you ease into fall. 

  • First, reset your irrigation controllers and systems to water less frequently and in smaller amounts as the weather is cooler, rainier and sunshine is not as intense. When it rains, turn off your watering system for a few days. 
  • Second, purchase a rain barrel that can capture stormwater for re-use around your property. If you purchase a rain barrel, the District will provide you a rebate of up to $35.
  • And third, plant California Native Plants and other drought-resistant vegetation to give your plants and their roots a head start before next year’s warmer spring and summer months (check our website for plant recommendations customized for each of our member cities: Alhambra, Azusa, Monterey Park and Sierra Madre).



2023 Speakers' Bureau and H2Owl Appearances

The District continues to support, sponsor 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.

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.

To request an in-person or virtual meeting or presentation with your group, please contact Evelyn Reyes, External Affairs Manager (626-969-7911 or ereyes@sgvmwd.com).


San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District www.sgvmwd.com

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