Water conservation goals met, more work ahead
MONTEREY PARK — The San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District shared its latest news about water conservation in Alhambra and Monterey Park at a press conference on Friday. Both cities hit water conservation targets, but lack of rainfall left groundwater levels critically depleted at only 23 percent. District President Thomas Wong urged residents to be proactive when it comes to saving water.
“There’s just no end in sight.” Wong said about the drought, currently in its fifth year.
Alhambra has saved nearly 767 million gallons since 2014. Monterey Park has also reached conservation targets, saving almost 553 million gallons compared to 2013. The entire district, which also includes Azusa and Sierra Madre, met a 25 percent statewide conservation goal this past year.
Watering is allowed only twice a week at Alhambra public properties and City Hall will soon have drought-tolerant landscaping. Wong said these water conservation efforts will become part of daily life across southern California. A hot and dry La Niña period could make things worse.
Extreme heat days are predicted to increase in number, according to a UCLA study. Water imports from northern California have increased every year since 2014. Sierra Madre depends these imports for its entire water supply, since running out of groundwater in 2013.
Many local weather experts, such as climatologist Bill Patzert at JPL, predicted that El Niño would refill local reservoirs. That didn’t happen, Wong said. In fact, southern California had only 53 percent of normal rainfall during the last rainy season.
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