Contact: Florence Lin (626-309-0622); Evelyn Reyes (626-969-7911)
WATER CONSERVATION NEEDED TO PRESERVE LOCAL WATER SUPPLIES
Water Agencies Seek Citizen Participation in Rebate and Grant Programs
July 24, 2017 – Monterey Park, California: The San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District hosted a meeting about local water supplies for Asian media representatives. The timing for the meeting coincides with the onset of typical hot, dry summer weather and increased water usage. Joining the District were the Valley’s key water management agency, the Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster, and water utility representatives from the cities of Alhambra and Monterey Park. The purpose of the meeting was to explain the status of water supply conditions in the aftermath of the recent, severe drought, and to emphasize the importance of water conservation by residents and businesses.
About 80% of the water used in the San Gabriel Valley is local groundwater; the remaining 20% is imported from northern California and the Colorado River. While the most recent drought has been declared “over” at the State level due to above average rain and snow this past winter and spring, resulting in improved snowpack and most reservoir levels, local, San Gabriel Valley groundwater supplies have not recovered as well and remain near historic low levels.
Thomas Wong, President, San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District Board of Directors, stated, “We need to embrace the value of our water resource and make water conservation a way of life. The next drought may occur at any time and may have already begun. Conservation is extremely important – every gallon we save is a gallon we don’t need to import, recycle, desalinate or treat.”
Tony Zampiello, Executive Officer, Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster, indicated, “Rainfall and subsequent run-off are critical to Basin replenishment. This, coupled with widespread conservation, make San Gabriel Valley’s water supply more resilient.”
Richard Gonzales, Utility Maintenance Supervisor, City of Alhambra, stated, “Water conservation is the community’s way of taking care of future residents. If we conserve today, there will be a better tomorrow.”
To assist in motivating and rewarding water conservation efforts by stakeholders, Director Wong emphasized two District programs that are detailed on the website www.sgvmwd.org. First, the Water District offers stakeholders in Alhambra, Monterey Park and Azusa, financial rebates ranging from $100-150 per unit for the purchase of water-saving equipment such as efficient washing machines, “smart” irrigation controllers, high-efficiency toilets, waterless urinals and rain barrels.
Second, on July 1, 2017, the District introduced a new community grant program entitled “Opportunities for Water Leadership” whereby community organizations in Alhambra, Azusa, Monterey Park and Sierra Madre, may apply for grants ranging from $200-2,000 to perform water conservation projects. The “O.W.L.” Grant Program, named after the District’s water conservation mascot, H2Owl, is open to schools, teachers, students, clubs, athletic teams, scouting organizations and other non-profit organizations interested in performing conservation-related service projects. In addition to the District’s website, interested groups may call 626-969-7911 for additional information.
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.
Caption for Photograph Pictured from left to right: Richard Gonzales, City of Alhambra; Tony Zampiello, Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster; Tom Love, San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District Board of Directors; H2Owl Mascot; Thomas Wong, San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District Board of Directors; Frank Heldman, City of Monterey Park