WATER SUPPLY EMERGENCY DECLARED IN MAIN SAN GABRIEL BASIN AS DROUGHT CONDITIONS PUSH BASIN LEVELS TO RECORD LOWS

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1 October 22, 2014 Contact: Patricia Cortez Community & Govt. Affairs O: 626/ C: 626/ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WATER SUPPLY EMERGENCY DECLARED IN MAIN SAN GABRIEL BASIN AS DROUGHT CONDITIONS PUSH BASIN LEVELS TO RECORD LOWS MONROVIA, CA, -- The Board of Directors for the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (Upper District) approved a resolution adopting a water supply emergency. Upper District provides wholesale water service, recycled water and groundwater replenishment supplies to retail water providers that serve all or portions of 18 cities including: Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bradbury, Covina, Duarte, El Monte, Glendora, Industry, Irwindale, La Puente, Monrovia, Rosemead, San Gabriel, South El Monte, South Pasadena, Temple City and West Covina. This unprecedented action follows three consecutive dry years with the winter of 2013/14 being a record dry year. Groundwater levels in the Main San Gabriel Basin (Basin) are at record low levels and will continue to drop if this coming winter does not provide above average rainfall and significant amounts of imported water used to replenish the depleted groundwater supplies are not provided by Upper District s supplier, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Today s action by the Board is necessary to continue the reliable and safe operation of the Basin s water supply stated Upper District Board President Anthony Fellow. Groundwater levels continue to hit record lows and weather forecasts predict continued drought-like conditions. The Upper District recognizes it is critical to reinforce the water conservation emergency regulations mandated by the State Water Resources Control Board in August and also strongly supports Governor Brown s call for all Californians to reduce their personal water use by 20 percent. The resolution adopts water conservation actions as mandated by the State Water Resources Control Board s Emergency Regulation for Water Conservation and directs Upper District to work with the local water providers to help them implement all water conservation actions they deem most appropriate through their local ordinances as required by the State Water Resources Control Board. The Board resolution also demands that Metropolitan deliver water requested by Upper District for groundwater replenishment on the same terms and conditions as provided to other Metropolitan member agencies that receive service by paying Metropolitan s full service water rates. Following three consecutive years of below average local precipitation and limited availability of imported water needed for groundwater replenishment, the Basin is at a record low level of 182 above mean sea level as measured at the Key Well located in Baldwin Park. To return to just average rainfall conditions, over 36 of rain is needed to make up for the current shortfall from the last three years. Significantly more rainfall is needed to recover the groundwater level above the low end of the safe operating range. 1 of 2 P a g e 602 E. Huntington Drive, Suite B Monrovia, CA (626) (phone) (626) (fax)

2 Without deliveries of imported water, and if the coming winter is as dry as last year, groundwater levels could drop another 20 feet or more. Many groundwater wells will lose production capacity requiring that they be operated for longer periods of time; or several will no longer be able to provide any water. The Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster is working closely with the local water providers to update an emergency water supply plan to deal with this condition. By acting now, Watermaster, Upper District and the local water providers are being proactive and working to get ahead of this issue before it becomes a water shortage emergency as we see in other parts of the state. Metropolitan will play a critical role in stretching its already thin water supplies to help San Gabriel Valley communities make it through this drought stated Fellow. Maintaining the safe operating yield of the Basin is critical not only for the management of a reliable watershed, but also in containing the migration of contaminant plumes that are found in the groundwater. Per the Judgment entered into in 1974 by all water rights holders in the Basin, it is Watermaster s responsibility to maintain these safe operating levels and manage the Basin. Upper District s actions support Watermaster s responsibility to manage the Basin and ensure that water requested for groundwater replenishment is delivered on the same terms and conditions as provided to other Metropolitan member agencies. Upper District s mission is to provide a reliable, sustainable, diversified and affordable portfolio of high quality water supplies to the San Gabriel Valley; including water conservation, recycled water, storm water capture, storage, water transfers and imported water. Upper District services nearly one million people in its 144 square mile service territory. Governed by a five member elected board of directors, Upper District is a member agency of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Annually, more than 78 billion gallons of water is used in Upper District s service area. For more information about Upper District, please visit our website or call ### 2 of 2 P a g e

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