August 2022

Board of Director Meetings

Virtual/On-Line Until Further Notice

Monday, August 15, 2022; 8 a.m. 

Join via GoToMeeting: https://meet.goto.com/869447829

or dial-in: +1 (224) 501-3412 Access Code: 869-447-829

Save the Date: September 2022 Board Meeting – Monday, September 12, 2022; 8 a.m.

Quick Links 

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Water Saving Tips




Water Use Restrictions Increase in Member Cities and Statewide

The Governor issued an executive order in March 2022 calling for local water agencies to implement more aggressive conservation measures. In May, to hasten water savings, the State Water Resources Control Board approved emergency regulations that require local water suppliers, such as the District’s member cities of Alhambra, Azusa, Monterey Park and Sierra Madre, to activate “Level 2” of their local contingency plans to prepare for a water shortage of up to 20%.

The District is renewing its efforts to reach out in-person and on-line to inform and incentivize residents and businesses to save water and to save money voluntarily. Please follow guidelines in effect in your City and beware penalties and greater enforcement measures are increasing.

Water conservation works and is the cheapest means of saving water. Every drop of water we save is one that does not need to be pumped, stored, treated, imported, transported, recycled, desalinated…or paid for!

Please visit our website and read, download and print information about the District's rebate programs, OWL Community Grant Program, water saving tips, water-wise gardening tips; educational videos, direct-install irrigation systems, and our community outreach and speakers’ bureau program.




SGVMWD Operations and Local Water Delivery Update -

State Water Project Allocation Reduced to 5%

In January 2022, following winter precipitation, the California Department of Water Resources increased allocations of imported water from zero to 15% of planned allocations to State Water Contractors such as SGVMWD. That welcome news was significantly reversed in March as the State reduced the allocation back to only 5% due to declining water supply conditions following the driest three-month period in our history in January, February and March. A 5% allocation means the District will be able to deliver only 1,440 AF of water (of its planned 28,800 AF) from the SWP to underground storage in the Main San Gabriel Basin. 

As of May 31st, the Devil Canyon-Azusa Pipeline is offline for maintenance and infrastructure projects. In July, the pipeline modification portion of the project is underway and is expected to be completed by July 5th. Two 30” WYEs are being installed in order to launch and receive the electro-magnetic condition assessment equipment (30” See Snake inspection tool). C.P. Construction Co., Inc. is the contractor.

  • PICA (Pipeline Inspection and Condition Analysis Corporation) is the subcontractor performing the condition assessment and will coordinate with engineers to provide data analysis including structural analysis, failure risk curves and repair prioritization.
  • Pigging / size-gauging is expected to commence the week of July 11th.
  • Electro-magnetic (See Snake) and leak detection testing (PICA Pipers) should commence the week of July 18th.
  • Once the free swimming testing is complete, the pipeline will be dewatered.
  • Once dewatered, a complete CCTV inspection will be conducted for visual reinforcement of data gathered by the condition assessment tools. 
  • Provided there are no areas requiring excavation for supplemental inspection/immediate repair, the pipeline will be refilled and is expected to be available by September 1st.



Water Supply Challenges Worsen Across California and the

San Gabriel Valley

Summary - As shown in the graphics above, water supply conditions remain lower than desired and are trending negatively. U.S. Drought Monitor maps reveal more than 97% of California is classified under severe or extreme drought, up from about 66% five months ago. Groundwater, rainfall, and statewide snow pack and reservoirs, each remain well below desired levels.  

Climate change and increasingly warmer temperatures (two degrees hotter, on average, now than 50 years ago) have evaporated precipitation and melted snow pack much faster than in prior years, resulting in less melting snow feeding rivers and reservoirs, and soil moisture drying out before soaking down into the ground. 

We’ll need multiple above-average rain and snow years to make up the difference. As the graph below illustrates, drought is common and “normal” in the San Gabriel Valley. 

5 Drought Cycles Since 1970 thru 2021.png

Local 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 August, 2022, the level declined to 182.6 feet above mean sea level. The Basin has experienced a fairly steady decline in groundwater levels in recent years from a high of 212.5 feet above mean sea level in December 2019. The present level is 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% (from 15%) due to the record-setting dry conditions from January through March of this year. Imported water is used to supplement local groundwater supplies in the Main San Gabriel Basin. Here is a look at how imported water allocations fluctuate over time:

Local Rainfall the Los Angeles Almanac reports annual rainfall levels from July 1 to June 30 of each year. For the nearby Santa Fe Dam weather station, the total rainfall for the 2021-2022 year was 13.36 inches, 77% of normal (which is about 17.38 inches of rain per year), but better than the prior year’s total of 6.49 inches. There was no measurable rainfall at the station in the month of July 2022.

Statewide Snow Pack – as of August 1, 2022, statewide, snowpack was 0% of the April 1 average (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 – statewide, as of June 30, 2022, (the latest data available to us), reservoir levels were at 69 of average and 51% of capacity. Shasta Lake, the state’s largest reservoir, was at 38% capacity in late July 2022. Because last year’s precipitation levels were low and the ground was so dry, the ground absorbed high levels of recent precipitation, depriving our reservoirs of needed supply.

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.





OWL Community Grant Program Funding is Unlimited! 

The OWL Community Grant Program seeks to fund and spur creation of local, grassroots-oriented water conservation projects by providing “seed money” to help schools and non-profit groups possessing plans, inspiration and volunteers. 

We are very flexible with respect to project approaches and funding levels. In fact, as of April 1, 2022, we no longer have limits on the amount of funds for which schools and non-profit organizations may apply. Charted below is a summary of grants to date. Please click on the chart to be directed to our website to learn more about the program and grant guidelines. Applying is easy and may be completed online. Contact us if you have any questions at 626-969-7911 or info@sgvmwd.com


Rebate Program – Save Water and Save Money!

The District has enhanced its rebate program to help you save water and money. In addition, we’re offering an irrigation system retrofit program that 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 take action 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). 

Irrigation Rebate 2022




New Water-Wise Gardening Tips for Our Member Cities

Just in time for summer and fall gardening, the District has created 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. 

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!


Updated Website and Water Saving Tips and Materials

The District’s website contains a trove of information related to water supply and water conservation. Our educational materials may be downloaded or printed, and larger quantities for schools may be requested by contacting the District. Our website also provides links to educational videos and other water/conservation websites. 

Teachers and schools find the following materials especially helpful in teaching students about conservation:


Water Conservation Growth Chart

Water-Saving Tips Around the Business


Water-Saving Tips Around the House


Water-Saving Tips In Your Yard

Short on Time? Take a Look at these Brief, Informative and Fun Videos about Drought, Local Water Supply and Conservation

The State Water Contractors and the Department of Water Resources’ Save Our Water campaign released animated whiteboard videos in both English and Spanish to ensure all Californians understand the urgent need to conserve water during this historic drought. And the District, itself, has created two educational videos about our local groundwater supplies and water conservation. Click on the images below to watch the videos. A “Video Gallery” may be found on the District’s website.

Part 1: Where Our Water Comes From

Part 2: Water Conservation as a Way of Life




Speakers’ Bureau and H2Owl Appearances

With extra caution for pandemic and health-related safety, the District’ outreach program is in full swing with the District supporting and attending a variety of in-person community events. District representatives are available to make informational and educational presentations at community and business meetings, city council and school board meetings and business/chamber meetings. 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. We are always open to providing virtual or online presentations, as well. To request a meeting or presentation with your group, please contact Evelyn Reyes, External Affairs Manager (626-969-7911 or ereyes@sgvmwd.com).

Outreach Highlights from July

Teaching the Future of Sierra Madre about Aquifers and Groundwater

A significant role of the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District is not only to provide our partner cities with water, but also to educate the general public about water resources and conservation. Through our efforts, we hope to provide the public with water-saving tips, guides, and ways to decrease water usage around the home. 

On July 20th, the district, alongside the Sierra Madre Parks and Recreation Services, hosted a fun interactive activity for the children of the city of Sierra Madre. Through the creative use of building materials, as well as a set of instructions, the children were able to construct their very own miniature aquifer, as well as see the effects of groundwater pollution by using some food-coloring solution. The kids took home a valuable lesson, as well as a cool model!

Pictured below is External Affairs Manager Evelyn Reyes teaching the children to build an aquifer.


San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District www.sgvmwd.com

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