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San Gabriel Valley water agency declares supply emergency

San Gabriel Valley water agency declares supply emergency amid record-low supplies

The Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District declared a water supply emergency Wednesday amid record-low levels.

The agency, which supplies retailers that serve several San Gabriel Valley cities, said levels will continue to drop if this winter doesn’t provide above-average rainfall and if the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California doesn’t provide significant water to replenish groundwater.

The resolution adopting a water supply emergency was approved by the board of directors and called for a number of conservation actions.

It also demands that the Metropolitan Water District deliver water requested by the San Gabriel agency for groundwater replenishment at the same cost as the other member agencies that pay “full service” water rates.

“Today’s action by the board is necessary to continue the reliable and safe operation of the basin’s water supply,” said Anthony Fellow, board president of the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District. “Groundwater levels continue to hit record lows and weather forecasts predict continued drought-like conditions.”

The three years of below-average rain and limited availability of imported water needed for groundwater replenishment have left the main San Gabriel Basin at a record-low level, the district said.

Groundwater levels could drop an additional 20 feet or more without water deliveries and if this winter is as dry as last year’s.

The Metropolitan Water District “will play a critical role in stretching its already thin water supplies to help San Gabriel Valley communities make it through this drought,” Fellow said.

The Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District serves nearly 1 million people, and more than 78 billion gallons of water a year is used in its service area. The district is a member agency of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

aldolfo.flores@latimes.com

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