Amid Worsening Drought, Upper District Activates Level 2 of its Water Supply Contingency Plan

While the San Gabriel Valley is not currently under Governor Newsom’s emergency drought declaration, this resolution supports the Governor’s call to reduce water usage consumption by 15 percent


The Board of Directors of the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (Upper District) unanimously approved a resolution activating Level 2 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan.  This level activates a regional “call to action” to residents of the San Gabriel Valley for reduced water usage in light of the worsening drought conditions.

While the San Gabriel Valley is not currently under Governor Newsom’s emergency drought declaration, this resolution supports the Governor’s call to reduce water usage consumption by 15 percent. This action also follows a Condition 2 – Water Supply Alert issued by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan), which called on all its member agencies to implement voluntary conservation measures to preserve the region’s water storage reserves.

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“As we continue to navigate the dry years ahead and protect our existing water supplies, it’s imperative our residents continue using water efficiently in our daily activities,” stated Upper District Board President Ed Chavez. “We’ve been down this dry road before, and we are more aware of how to conserve and use water more efficiently.”

Upper District is a member agency of Metropolitan and provides the imported water supply to 22 water retailers that serve nearly one million residents throughout the San Gabriel Valley.  Imported water supplies help replenish the Main San Gabriel Groundwater Basin (Basin) which accounts for 20 percent of the region’s water resources.  Imported water is delivered from the State Water Project, which the Department of Water Resources announced an allocation cut from 10 percent to 5percent.

The Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP) approved by the Board of Directors in June 2021 and provides Upper District the guidelines to respond to the evolving water supply conditions throughout the region and state. WSCP details the key shortage response actions and communication protocols that may be implemented to ensure reliable water supplies in Upper District’s service area during various levels of water shortage. Level 2 of the WSCP is the second of six standard water shortage levels, corresponding to shortages of up to and greater than 50%.

Moving to this water shortage level will authorize Upper District to expand its public information and education activities to increase awareness about the importance of water conservation and ultimately preserve the water storage levels of the Basin. Upper District will implement a district-wide drought communications plan go support voluntary water use reductions and urges all local water suppliers and city councils to help their customers and constituents implement voluntary conservation measures. This proactive drought response by the Board seeks to avoid additional stringent cutbacks in the future and improve regional water reliability.

“The Board recognizes the severity of the drought and remains committed to supporting water supply investments for drought resiliency and ensure our residents have the resources to conserve water in their homes,” stated Chavez.

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. Upper District serves all or parts of the following cities: Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bradbury, City of Industry, Covina, El Monte, Glendora, Duarte, Irwindale, La Puente, Monrovia, Rosemead, San Gabriel, South El Monte, South Pasadena, Temple City, and West Covina. 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 626-443-2297.