April 22, 2020; Azusa, California – On this, the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District continues to care deeply for the people and communities we serve. The COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic continues to create serious concern for the health of our families and friends and unprecedented disruption to our daily lives and financial well-being. In the midst of this crisis, people are raising reasonable questions about the virus’ impact on our precious water resource.
As stewards of our water supply and public health, the District reviewed information developed by trusted experts to provide answers to some of the most important questions related to the potential effect of the COVID-19 virus on our water (Please see attached). Board President Thomas Wong states, “We want stakeholders in our service area of Alhambra, Azusa, Monterey Park and Sierra Madre, as well as the rest of the San Gabriel Valley, to know their tap water is safe to drink. Water quality is protected by advanced water treatment technology, expert personnel, scientific testing and procedures, and strict federal and state drinking water requirements.”
With the spring season having begun, and with it the arrival of warmer and drier weather, the District also wants to inform stakeholders that water supplies are somewhat stable after a drier than normal rain and snow season. While the San Gabriel Valley experienced heavy precipitation in late 2019 and late March/early April, the months of January, February and March were mostly dry.
Current water supply data reveal that recent storms have helped eliminate drought conditions in Southern California, however, nearly 50% of the state is experiencing moderate or severe drought conditions. Local rainfall is about 76% of normal; statewide snow pack is about 61% of normal; statewide reservoirs are at about 100.3% of average; groundwater levels have declined for several consecutive months but remain within the safe operating range; and imported water allocations remain at 15% of normal.
Director Wong commented, “Despite the recent elimination of the drought in Southern California and last year’s improvement of our local water supply conditions, drought is normal and will surely return. We must take continued action to ensure water conservation, the least expensive and most efficient water supply solution, is a way of life.”
About the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
The mission of the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District is to provide reliable supplemental water for the communities of Alhambra, Azusa, Monterey Park and Sierra Madre in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner.
The District was formed in 1959 after winning approval from the voters of Alhambra, Azusa, Monterey Park, and Sierra Madre. In anticipation of its long-term water needs, the District entered into a contract with the State of California Department of Water Resources in 1962 for the import of 25,000 acre-feet of water per year (now 28,800 acre-feet per year) from the State Water Project to supplement local water supplies in the San Gabriel Valley. The District is one of 29 State Water Contractors who obtain water from the State Water Project. The District operates the 38-mile Devil Canyon-Azusa pipeline which connects to the State Water Project, as well as several other facilities including a hydroelectric plant. The District also provides extensive public education and water conservation services throughout its service area. The Board of Directors meets regularly the second Monday of each month at 8 a.m. at District headquarters in Azusa. For more information please visit our website: www.sgvmwd.org.