March 2024

Board of Director Meetings

Monday, March 11, 2024; 8 a.m. - The March 2024 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.

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Meeting ID: 890 1330 6120

Passcode: 512838

Dial by your location (669) 444-9171

Save the Date: April Board Meeting – Monday, April 8, 2024; 8 a.m.

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Strategic Planning Results Posted on District's Website

The District’s Board of Directors conducted a strategic planning workshop on Monday, January 22, 2024, at District headquarters. The results from that workshop, which include a chronological presentation of short and long-term action items, is posted on the District’s website. To view it, follow the link below.

The strategic planning workshop led to the development of short and long-term action plans for operations and infrastructure, state and local water supply, member city relations, finances, and outreach/external affairs. Several critical areas of focus for the District, such as ongoing investment in and maintenance of District infrastructure, establishment of property tax and water sales rates, and the District’s role in both the Delta Conveyance Project for imported water at the state level and the Pure Water Southern California recycled water project at the local level, are presented in detail in the Plan. The District’s last strategic plan was conducted in 2019-2020 and may also be viewed on the District’s website.

2024 Strategic Planning Workshop Results

District Participates in Water Supply Tour for California Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee

Feb 2024 SGV Water Tour

In partnership with the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District and Three Valleys Municipal Water District hosted Chairperson Diane Papan of the California Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee along with Assembly Member Blanco Rubio and State Senator Maria Elena Durazo in February for a tour of the San Gabriel Valley's water supply and facilities. Along with members of various other water and utility agencies, the tour showcased Three Valleys MWD's water treatment facility, the SGVMWD's hydroelectric generator, Morris Dam, Santa Fe Spreading Basins, and Cal Domestic Well and Treatment Facility.

SGVMWD Board President Mark Paulson, Vice President Steven Placido and Director Bruce Knoles were in attendance to meet with the legislators.




Operations Update


Imported Water Deliveries

In February, the District was not able to deliver water to cyclic storage due to the frequent storm activity and volume of rainwater, which did not allow for use of County spreading grounds. There was not an efficient window for the District to make its deliveries. Thus, there were no hydroelectric operations in February as well.

Joint Bonding/Condition Assessment Validation Project

Contractors continue to assist the District with the joint bonding project, and we expect joint bonding to be complete the first week of April. Pipe segment 940 will be excavated in early March to visually inspect the exterior of the pipe and take exterior ultrasonic and pit gauge measurements at one of the validation locations. In December, internal measurements detected wall loss, but no visual defect was observed.

SDH 24” Butterfly Valve Replacement Project

This project remains active while the District awaits delivery of the replacement valve actuator and its subsequent installation.

SGFCS 30” Ball Valve Project

This project awaits leak testing and re-torquing of the hardware when the pipeline is pressurized.

State Water Project Update

In February 2024, following significant rain and snow throughout California, the Department of Water Resources increased its allocation of imported water to State Water Contractors from 10% to 15% or requested supplies. The state may increase or decrease the allocation amount as the year proceeds based on hydrological conditions.

Last year, State Water Project (SWP) allocations to state water contractors such as SGVMWD, were increased to 100% of plan for the first time since 2006, helping stabilize water supplies statewide and in the San Gabriel Valley. Thus, the District was allocated 28,800 acre-feet of imported water in 2023 to deliver and use for replenishment of groundwater in the Main San Gabriel Basin. Some of the District’s allocation for 2023 has been carried over into 2024 as capacity to deliver and store water in the Basin was limited late in 2023 due to high volumes of water in the system.

March 2024 water allocation

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 collaboration and smart water management with other water agencies in the Main San Gabriel Basin.

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.



Water Supply Conditions Continue to Improve as El Niño and Atmospheric River Events Leave Their Mark Statewide and in the San Gabriel Valley

Dashboard February 2024

As our March newsletter was being completed, the San Gabriel Valley had just received additional rain and northern California and the Eastern Sierra were experiencing blizzard conditions. These are very positive developments for our improving statewide and local water supply conditions. As the graphic above shows, drought conditions have nearly disappeared in the state, local groundwater supplies are slowly improving, statewide snowpack has more than doubled in the past month, and state and local reservoir levels are well above average. 

The combination of “atmospheric river” storm events and El Niño conditions have quickly and vastly changed our “water year” data. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the winter/early spring plays out and how 2024 compares to last year when we experienced the 10th wettest year since recordkeeping began 128 years ago.

One of the most important indicators for the San Gabriel Valley is local groundwater which improves more slowly due to the time it takes stormwater runoff to percolate down to groundwater levels. Our local groundwater levels have risen more than 40 feet since January 2023.

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 March 1, 2024, the level stood at 222.6 feet above mean sea level, more than 40 feet higher than a year ago.

Prior to heavy precipitation and storms in early 2023, 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. 

Note: 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. 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 – As presented earlier, the state has increased allocations of imported water to State Water Contractors to 15% of requested supplies for 2024. A final allocation plan is usually determined in May or June based on evolving hydrological conditions. Imported water is used to supplement local groundwater supplies in the Main San Gabriel Basin.

In April 2023, 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. Those deliveries have been maximized as much as the delivery and storage “system” can handle, and some of the District’s 2023 allocation is being carried over into 2024. 

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, the DPW headquarters location in Alhambra had recorded over 19 inches of rain since October 1, 2023, when our new “water year” began, more than 100% of average (average is 17.83 inches of rain). We still 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.

March 2024

Statewide Snow Pack – We have benefitted from rapidly increasing snowpack amounts throughout the first two months of 2024, with blizzards ushering in the month of March. Snowpack has now risen to more than 75% of the April 1 “peak” and is poised to rise higher when upcoming snow surveys are completed. 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, 2024, (the latest statewide data available to us), reservoir levels were 115% of average and 69% of capacity. Most reservoirs in the state are above average. As of March 1, storage levels at Shasta Lake, the state’s largest reservoir, were 84% of capacity and 118% of the historical average for this date, and storage levels at Lake Oroville, the state’s second largest reservoir, were 84% of capacity and 135% of the historical average.

Locally, San Gabriel Reservoir was at 78% of capacity and 186% of average, and Cogswell Reservoir was at 76% of capacity and 262% of average. Lake Silverwood, which rests above San Bernardino and is adjacent to the start of the District’s Devil Canyon-Azusa Pipeline, is filled to about 90% of capacity and 107% 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




Water Saving Tips for the Winter Months

Cooler temperatures and winter storms are on their way! It’s still a good time to follow smart water-saving practices. Please consider three actions related to our precious water resource this winter. 

  • 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).



Alhambra High School's ERAS at SGVMWD's Alhambra Lunar New Year Festival Booth

The District is a proud long time sponsor of the Alhambra Lunar New Year Festival hosted by the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce and the City of Alhambra. This year, Alhambra High School's ERAS (Environmental Resources Awareness Society) joined us at our booth to pass out Water District information and red envelopes to the community.

alhambra lunar new year 2024

2024 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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