Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
Where Solutions Flow
602 E. Huntington Drive, Suite B., Monrovia, CA, 91016 | (626) 443-2297

Press Releases

May 20, 2016

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UPPER DISTRICT’S THREE HIGH SCHOOL TEAMS SHINE AT 2016 SOLAR CUP COMPETITION 

MONROVIA, CA – On May 13-15, 2016, roughly 700 students from 38 high school teams across Southern California competed in the 14th Annual Solar Cup™ Competition hosted by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD).

Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (Upper District) is one of MWD’s twenty-six member agencies that sponsored the participation of three high school teams from the district.  Upper District’s 2016 Solar Cup™ participants included teams from Arcadia High School, Mountain View High School (El Monte), and West Covina High School.  After seven months of preparation, boat building, and hands-on learning about solar energy, engineering, and water conservation, these three teams joined other southland high schools to compete in sprint and endurance races at MWD’s Lake Skinner in southwest Riverside County’s Temecula Valley.

“We are very proud of all three teams that competed in this year’s Solar Cup.  They displayed such dedication and sportsmanship throughout the year, and truly represented the San Gabriel Valley in the best of way,” stated Upper District Board President, Bryan Urias, Division 5.

In addition to points earned in the races, teams can earn points from technical inspections, completion of technical reports and creation of a public service message project. These messages focus on water conservation in the form of a 60-second, self-scripted and produced, conservation video or social media campaign under the theme, “Conservation Rain or Shine.”

Among Upper District’s sponsored teams, awards were given to:

– Arcadia High School: Public Service Announcement – 1st Place Veteran Region, Foothill

– Mountain View High School: Solar Endurance – 2nd Place Veteran Region, Foothill

– West Covina High School: Hottest-Looking Boat – 1st Place Veteran, Overall

Solar Cup is a school-year-long program in which the participating students build, equip and race a 16-foot long, single-seated canoe, which is powered only by the sun. The Solar Cup program is a team-oriented educational-based competition which allows students to apply their skills learned within the classroom: math, physics, engineering and communications; and implement them in a real world setting by constructing and operating a solar-powered canoe.  The Solar Cup program couples this by teaching the students about Southern California’s water supplies, resource management, conservation and alternative energy development.

Since its start in 2002, more than 10,000 students have participated in Solar Cup, some of whom have gone on to pursue to careers in engineering and environmental sciences.

Additional information, such as final scores, and event photos and video footage from this year’s and past Solar Cup events can be found at www.mwdh2o.com/inthecommunity
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Download Press Release: Press Release – 2016 Solar Cup – 5.19.16

January 15, 2016

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UPPER SAN GABRIEL VALLEY MWD BOARD OF DIRECTORS REORGANIZE FOR 2016

MONROVIA, CA – At the first board meeting for 2016, the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (Upper District) Board of Directors elected Bryan Urias to serve as the 2016 Board President. Director Anthony Fellow, Ph.D., was elected to continue serving as Vice President and Director Michael Touhey was elected as Board Secretary/Treasurer.

Referencing the year ahead, Director Urias stated, “I greatly appreciate my fellow board members’ support and confidence in me to serve as President this year. I look forward to working with them to ensure that a reliable, affordable, and sustainable water supply continues to flow into the San Gabriel Valley long into the future.”

Director Urias first served as President of the Board in 2012, and then as Secretary/Treasurer from 2013-2015. He currently also serves as the Chair of Upper District’s Administration & Finance Committee, and is the board’s representative to the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority and the San Gabriel Valley Water Association.  Director Urias represents Division 5 which includes all, or parts of, Baldwin Park, Duarte, El Monte, and Irwindale.

First elected in 1991, Dr. Fellow is currently serving his seventh term on Upper District’s Board of Directors and his second consecutive year as the Board’s Vice President.  Dr. Fellow will continue representing Upper District at the Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster, San Gabriel River Discovery Center Authority, San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, and the New Water Supply Coalition.  Most recently, Dr. Fellow was appointed as a member of the Association of California Water Agencies’ Federal Affairs Committee and chairs Upper District’s Government Affairs & Community Outreach Committee.  Dr. Fellow represents Division 1 which includes all, or parts of, Arcadia, Bradbury, El Monte, Monrovia, Rosemead, and Temple City.

Director Michael Touhey was elected to Upper District in November 2012 and is Upper District’s appointed representative on the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors, where he serves as Vice Chair.  Director Touhey was recently elected as the 2016-17 Region 8 Chair of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA). Director Touhey additionally serves as the chair of Upper District’s Water Policy Committee and represents Division 4 which includes all, or parts of, Azusa, Covina, Glendora, Irwindale, and West Covina.

As the outgoing Board President, Director Touhey stated, “I want to extend my appreciation to the Board for their commitment to developing sound policies and implementing programs that helped us address the impacts of this unprecedented drought. I look forward to my new responsibilities representing Upper District as the Association of California Water Agencies Region 8 Chair.”

Director Charles M. Treviño is currently serving his second term of office on Upper District’s Board of Directors. He is an educator, long-time community leader and retired water sector professional.  Director Treviño currently represents Upper District on ACWA’s Joint Powers Insurance Authority, the Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster, and the San Gabriel Valley Protective Association.  He is also a member of Upper District’s Water Policy Committee.  Director Treviño represents Division 2 which includes all, or parts of, Arcadia, Rosemead, San Gabriel, South Pasadena, South San Gabriel, and Temple City.

Director Ed Chavez is also serving his second term on Upper District’s Board of Directors.  Director Chavez, an educator, is a former Board Member of the Bassett Unified School District, Mayor and Councilmember of the City of La Puente, and three-term member of the California State Assembly representing the 57th District.  Director Chavez currently serves as a member of Upper District’s Government Affairs & Community Outreach Committee. Director Chavez represents Division 3 which includes all, or parts of, Avocado Heights, City of Industry, Hacienda Heights, La Puente, and South El Monte.

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 www.upperdistrict.org or call 626-443-2297.

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Download: PRESS RELEASE – 2016 Upper District Board Reorganization 1.15.16

September 24, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

UPPER DISTRICT WINS TWO CONSECUTIVE AWARDS FOR  2015 WATER SMART CITY CHALLENGE

San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments; California Special Districts Association Honors UD

MONROVIA, CA – The Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (Upper District) has won two consecutive awards for its first-of-its-kind water conservation program, The San Gabriel Valley Water Smart City Challenge. The Upper District announced today that it has received the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments 2015 Sustainability Award and the California Special Districts Association Excellence in Outreach Award.

“We are extremely proud of our efforts to partner with our cities, and we are honored to be recognized by these two esteemed agencies,” said Michael Touhey, Board President of Upper District. “A lot of planning, discipline and hard work goes into our partnerships with our cities, and I’m pleased that these efforts have been recognized. These awards are especially extraordinary because it recognizes innovation during this historic drought.”

The SGVCG Sustainability Award is for “an agency – a SGVCOG member agency or a partner agency – for a project or program that exemplifies sustainability in the areas of water, energy, solid waste, open space, or air quality,” according to the Council’s website. The Upper District will receive the second award during the CSDA conference in Monterey on Sept. 24th.

Both awards recognize Upper District’s San Gabriel Valley Water Smart City Challenge, which called upon all 18 cities within Upper District’s service territory to lead by example and adopt best practices for water conservation. In response to Governor Jerry Brown’s emergency drought declaration in January 2014, Upper District’s Board of Directors unveiled the creative public outreach campaign that utilized existing conservation programs with innovative outreach components that encouraged cities to promote drought awareness to their residents.

“This drought is serious and we all need to be as innovative and cooperative as possible,” Touhey said. “The Water Smart City Challenge is a shining example of a local water district communicating and collaborating with their cities to promote drought awareness to their communities.”

The Upper District awarded top honors in the Water Smart City Challenge to the cities of Azusa, Rosemead, and West Covina, and each received a $50,000 grant towards a sustainable watershed project. But across the district, the program yielded quantifiable and sustainable water savings, a more educated and engaged public and a model for other municipalities, districts and states.

Since implementing the challenge, rebates paid to residents in Upper District’s service territory increased by almost 1,100%. In fulfilling the challenge requirements, 1,200 free high efficiency toilets were distributed at city events and nine cities hosted gardening classes for their residents. Twenty-six large landscape surveys were completed at various city parks and facilities.  Of these sites, 19 were retrofitted with an annual water savings of 160 acre feet. Three cities passed low-impact development storm water ordinances; five cities adopted model water conservation ordinances and 24 city councilmembers and 26 city staff were educated through a variety of Upper District’s water-related forums and events.  All told, these conservation efforts will save over 350 acre feet a year, that’s over 113 million gallons of water annually.

The challenge encouraged cities to: bring awareness of the drought to their residents; seek a citywide water use reduction; adopt city policies that contribute to the overall sustainability of the San Gabriel River Watershed; and promote conservation and water-saving rebates for businesses and residents via the Southland’s regional rebate program: www.socalwatersmart.com.  In addition to promoting water-saving rebates, participating cities engaged their residents on water conservation and drought awareness through city websites, PSAs, social media and newsletters; hosted high efficiency toilet giveaways with their water retailer; hosted drought-tolerant landscape classes for their residents; and approved municipal ordinances that addressed citywide water conservation standards.

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 www.upperdistrict.org or call 626-443-2297.

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