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Historic, Collaborative Grant Agreement Funds “Joint Water Well” To Enhance Water Supplies in Sierra Madre

Categories: 2020

May 7, 2020; Azusa, California - The Board of Directors of the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (the “District”) finalized a historic grant agreement at its April 2020 Board meeting to provide nearly $1.9 million to its member agency, the City of Sierra Madre, to fund the City’s portion of a joint water well with the City of Arcadia. The grant will enable Sierra Madre, which is located in the Santa Anita Sub-Area of the Raymond Basin, outside of the Main San Gabriel Basin, to acquire, for the first time, a direct connection to the Main San Gabriel Basin. Arcadia is also investing independently in the project. The Grant Agreement had received preliminary approval from the District’s Board in February 2020.

Sierra Madre has long been confronted with the challenge of a diminishing ground water supply. In addition, the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District’s most recent Integrated Resource Plan identified an existing water exchange agreement with the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) for delivery of treated water to the City of Sierra Madre as a viable, but not optimal, long- term solution to the Sierra Madre’s water supply challenges. The creation of the joint well will provide a long-term solution that alleviates a decades-old challenge in Sierra Madre and, at the same time, ensures the District’s water portfolio is enhanced for each of its four member cities.

District Board Member Miles Prince (Division IV – Sierra Madre) stated, “The District is excited to extend its support to the City of Sierra Madre to increase its long-term water supply reliability. We also appreciate the collaborative manner in which the cities of Sierra Madre and Arcadia have worked.” District General Manager, Darin Kasamoto, added, “For many years, we stayed focused on the goal of establishing a reliable water supply for Sierra Madre. It took some time, but the effort of everyone involved is a model for the type of cooperation necessary to deliver a safe, reliable and sustainable water supply to the residents of our District.”

Sierra Madre Mayor, John Capoccia commented, “This historic agreement proves the wisdom of our forefathers in 1959, when Sierra Madre, along with Azusa, Alhambra and Monterey Park formed the San Gabriel Municipal Valley Water District, opting for local control of their water supply destiny. As a result, Sierra Madre has avoided unnecessary tax assessments, and now we have access to an auxiliary water supply when we need it most. I am very happy and impressed with the District’s leadership as well as that of our good neighbor and friend Arcadia!”

Sierra Madre and Arcadia have begun the process of identifying a suitable location for the well. The District will provide updates on the progress of this important project.

History

The San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District is one of 29 State Water Contractors which receive an annual allocation of imported water from the State Water Project. The District

conveys that water to the Main San Gabriel Basin via its 38-mile long Devil Canyon-Azusa Pipeline.

The City of Sierra Madre, one of the District’s member agencies, however, is located in the Santa Anita Sub-Area of the Raymond Basin, outside of the Main San Gabriel Basin, and until now has not had direct access to the District’s imported water supply. The interim solution for Sierra Madre since 2013 has been a connection from the City to Metropolitan Water District’s treated water transmission main. That connection resulted from an agreement created in 2006 between the District and MWD to ensure a continued and reliable water supply for Sierra Madre and its residents.

In 2019 the District and the City of Sierra Madre collaborated, with the assistance of Stetson Engineers, to study creation of a long-term solution to the challenges facing the City and the District. The most reliable solution identified was for Sierra Madre to develop a groundwater well within the Main San Gabriel Basin, whereby the City would gain direct access to the District’s imported water supply. To ensure the solution’s feasibility, cooperation of the City of Arcadia was needed for conveyance of the water through Arcadia’s system to Sierra Madre.

As a result of efforts made by the two cities, a water wheeling agreement was approved by both City Councils, and became effective on December 4, 2019. That agreement called for construction of a joint well to be located within the City of Arcadia. The water would then be transmitted through Arcadia’s existing pipelines to Sierra Madre’s water distribution system. For Sierra Madre, the last remaining obstacle preventing the project from moving forward was securing the necessary funding for the construction of a joint well.

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.

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