Upper District Press Release:
May 22, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONROVIA, CA, — Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (Upper District) is pleased to announce it was awarded a $1 million grant from the United States Bureau of Reclamation. The grant is part of the federal government’s continued efforts to bring drought relief to the western states by recently appropriating $50 million to the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation to help improve water efficiency and conservation.
“We are pleased to have received this grant from the Bureau of Reclamation” stated Upper District Board President Michael Touhey. “These funds will continue the efforts of our large landscape survey and retrofit program that has helped save over 11 million gallons of water in the last fiscal year alone.”
Initiated in 2013, Upper District’s Large Landscape Survey and Retrofit Program offers free in-depth water use surveys to commercial, industrial and institutional customers that have large landscaped areas. These surveys examine a site’s existing irrigation system including its irrigation controllers, valves, sprinkler heads, and vegetation. The survey identifies any needed system repairs and irrigation efficiency improvements. Proposed retrofits/improvements include replacing broken pipes and broken sprinkler heads and installing weather-based irrigation controllers, soil moisture sensor systems, and high efficiency spray nozzles. Over 80 sites have been surveyed so far with a significant number also receiving substantial irrigation system improvements.
“Given the impacts of this unprecedented four year drought, the federal government’s support for water conservation improvement projects could not come at a better time,” stated Director Touhey. “Every acre-foot of water conserved directly becomes an acre-foot of water that is now available for other uses.”
Entering its third phase of implementation, the Large Landscape Survey and Retrofit program is expected to result in an annual water savings of 763 acre-feet, which will help reduce Upper District’s reliance on the imported water supplies from the drought-stricken Colorado River and Bay-Delta systems.
The $1 million grant is funded by the Bureau of Reclamation’s sustainable water initiative – the WaterSMART program. Since its establishment in 2010, WaterSMART has provided approximately $250 million in competitively-awarded grants to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities and universities. According to WaterSMART, these investments have conserved enough water to meet the demand of more than 3.8 million people.
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.