May 2024

Board of Director Meetings

Monday, May 13, 2024; 8 a.m. - The May 13, 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: June Board Meeting – Monday, June 10, 2024; 8 a.m.

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Water Saving Tips




As we head into the dry summer months in California, the month of May is a time to show our appreciation for the water that aids our health, fuels our economy, and sustains our ecosystems. Rain or shine, Californians always need to use their water wisely. The District works closely with our member cities and local schools to provide educational materials and presentations.

Our message during Water Awareness Month and all year long is two-fold: first, that water supplies have improved, but need to be used wisely. And second, we are encouraging people to learn about local and state water infrastructure, such as the State Water Project, the cost of water, and water conservation. Please visit www.sgvmwd.com for information, news articles, educational websites, and videos on these important subjects.

State Increases Imported Water Allocations to

State Water Contractors to 40%

On April 23, 2024, following significant snow and rain statewide earlier this year, the Department of Water Resources increased allocations to State Water Contractors such as the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District to 40%. This is good news for the Main San Gabriel Basin. The State Water Project helps deliver water throughout the State and to the Main San Gabriel Basin to supplement local groundwater supplies for our member cities of Alhambra, Azusa, Monterey Park and Sierra Madre.

Although water supply conditions are much improved, aging infrastructure and environmental regulations constrain the State’s ability to move water supply south through the State Water Project (SWP). For example, the presence of threatened and endangered fish species near SWP pumping facilities in the south Delta have triggered state and federal regulations that significantly reduce the pumping into the California Aqueduct, which limits the SWP’s ability to move and store water in San Luis Reservoir. This reduced pumping is expected to continue into late spring. The SWP is prepared to increase pumping as soon as the fishery conditions and state and federal operating permits allow and allocations to State Water Contractors may increase in the months ahead.

CA DWR NEWS RELEASE: State Water Project Increases Projected Water Supply Allocation




Operations Update


Imported Water Deliveries

In April, the District delivered 1,350 AF of imported water to cyclic storage. 442 MWh of power was generated as a result for use by Azusa Light and Water.

Joint Bonding/Condition Assessment Validation Project

The pipeline currently being filled with pressure testing taking place immediately after.

SDH 24” Butterfly Valve Replacement Project

This project remains active with a new actuator recently delivered. Installation and testing is the next step. 

SGFCS 30” Ball Valve Project

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

State Water Project Update

On April 23, 2024, following an above average rain and snow “season” in California, the Department of Water Resources increased its allocation of imported water to State Water Contractors from 30% to 40% of requested supplies (11,520 AF for the SGVMWD). 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.

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.



Winter and Early Spring Storms, Coupled with Gradual Melting of Mountain Snowpack, Continue to Improve State and Local Water Supply Conditions

May 2024

Storms in March and April, following months of “atmospheric river” storm events and El Niño conditions, added to what had already been a wet winter season, a very positive development for our improving statewide and local water supplies. 

As the graphics above show, drought conditions have ended in the state, local rainfall is 130% of average, local groundwater supplies are slowly improving, statewide snowpack is now 75% of normal, and state and local reservoir levels are well above average and near 75% of capacity. It’s been an above average water year but will fall short of 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 almost 10 feet since last month and more than 50 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 May 3, 2024, the level stood at 239.3 feet above mean sea level, about 14 feet better than two months ago as stormwater runoff slowly percolates down to groundwater levels where it is pumped for use in the San Gabriel Valley.

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 40% 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 was 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 May 1, the DPW headquarters location in Alhambra had recorded 23.13 inches of rain since October 1, 2023, when our new “water year” began, about 130% of average (average is 17.83 inches of rain), concluding an above average rain year, but falling short of the last “water year” total of nearly 40 inches of precipitation.

Statewide Snow Pack – Due to heavy snow in February and March, in April we witnessed the snowpack rising to more than 100% of the April 1 “peak.” As of May 1, the snowpack is 75% of the April 1 peak which is about 94% of average. 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. The snowpack is expected to melt off earlier than last year, when an enormous snow accumulation lingered into August, keeping high elevations moist through the summer. The mountains are also running drier this year compared to the coasts, which bore the brunt of El Niño-fueled storms this past winter.

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 March 31, 2024, (the latest statewide data available to us), reservoir levels were 116% of average and 80% of capacity. Most reservoirs in the state are above average. As of May 1, storage levels at Shasta Lake, the state’s largest reservoir, increased to 96% of capacity and 114% of the historical average for this date, and storage levels at Lake Oroville, the state’s second largest reservoir, increased to 97% of capacity and 126% of the historical average. Lake Silverwood, which is located above San Bernardino and is adjacent to the start of the District’s Devil Canyon-Azusa Pipeline, is filled to about 92% of capacity and 104% 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.




Springtime Earth Day Festivities

with Local Schools and Monterey Park Library

For more than a decade, the District has partnered with local school districts and schools in our service area to provide water education materials and presentations in and around Earth Day in April and Water Awareness Month in May. The External Affairs staff have been busy visiting schools to drop off educational materials as well as participate in some on campus activities with the students. Additionally, this year, the District partnered with the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library in creating a new collection of waterwise books and host educational kids activities at this year's Monterey Park Earth Day Festival. Here are some highlights.

District Board Members Mark Paulson, Mike Eng, and Dr. Steve Placido kicked off the spring season by unveiling a desert garden at Marguerita Elementary School in Alhambra. This remarkable project, spearheaded by Catalyst SGV and Cal State Los Angeles with funding provided by the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, represents a collaborative effort between community leaders, educators, and students. The garden's unveiling marked a significant milestone for our school community, symbolizing our dedication to sustainability and hands-on learning. Through this outdoor classroom, students will connect with nature and gain valuable insights into water conservation and desert ecosystems.

The District partnered with Brightwood Elementary School in Monterey Park to celebrate Earth Day with an on-campus festival. During the event, students engaged in creative activities such as decorating bookmarks and delved into lessons about the water cycle. External Affairs Manager Evelyn Reyes also read "Water" by Frank Asch to the kindergarten classes. "Water" is a delightful children's book that explores the journey of water.

The Junior Friends of the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library were awarded a grant by the District to assemble a selection of water-conscious books for the library's collection. Additionally, they organized informative water education stations at the Monterey Park Annual Earth Day Festival which included the water cycle and groundwater filtration.

The Junior Friend's volunteers also hosted the District's table at the festival engaging residents on water conservation tips and rebate programs.

The District collaborated with students from the Alhambra High School Environmental Awareness Society (ERAS) to set up a booth at the City of Alhambra's Eco Fair, which coincided with the Active Streets Mission to Mission event. This event attracted thousands of participants who ran, walked, and biked through South Pasadena, Alhambra, and San Gabriel.

At the booth, the students interacted with attendees, sharing valuable water conservation tips and distributing giveaways. They also provided assistance with the City of Alhambra's Utilities Department's giveaway games, engaging the community in fun and educational activities related to water conservation.

The Alhambra High School Environmental Awareness Society (ERAS) organized its yearly Earth Day carnival on campus during the lunch period. Participating students had the chance to win various items provided by The District. We are proud to continue our partnership with ERAS as we wrap up another productive school year with them.






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

San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District www.sgvmwd.com

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