The Drought and Crescenta Valley Water
Governor Brown declared a statewide drought in January 2014 urging all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20%. This action was followed by an executive order in late April further emphasizing the severity of the drought and calling for all Californians to conserve water in every way possible.
Crescenta Valley Water District (CVWD) is a public agency regulated by the State of California under Division 12 of the California Water Code. Formed in 1950, the District provides water services to approximately 32,000 residents, businesses, schools, and parks located in La Crescenta, Montrose, and portions of Glendale and La Cañada-Flintridge. Approximately 60% of our water comes from ground water pumped from 12 wells located along the base of the Verdugo Mountains plus a small tunnel located high in Pickens Canyon. The remaining 40% is imported from the Foothill Municipal Water District (FMWD), a wholesaler of water. FMWD receives water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) which in turn obtains the water from the Colorado River and the State Water Project. The District uses 17 storage reservoirs located throughout the community to distribute the water. Residents use 88% of the water while commercial, dedicated landscape, schools, and Caltrans use the remaining 12%.
This is our third consecutive year of below normal rainfall. Our local total for this year stands at 8.9 inches, far below the average of 23.3 inches per year and below the previous two drought years, both of which were about 11.0 inches. The groundwater table in the Verdugo Basin is declining due to the low rainfall over the last three years. The District is in the process of rehabilitating six of its wells this year and plans to rehab others next year to improve water production. MWD states that water storage in Southern California is healthy but its supply will continue to decrease as the water is used to offset the pumping restrictions of water being released from the State Water Project due to the drought.
The District is studying the possibility of a storm-water collection system located within Crescenta Valley County Park to help recharge the Verdugo Basin. Obtaining the funding and clearing the regulatory process has taken time, and project completion will most likely be another four to five years. Water recycling for park irrigation is another area the District is looking to implement if state or other funding becomes available.
Working with FMWD and neighboring communities, the District follows the Water Alert Status system: blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. Presently we are at yellow alert, but this could change if the water situation worsens. Water conservation yellow alert permits outdoor irrigation on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Complete details of the water conservation alert system can be found at www.cvwd.com. The District recognizes that our community is conservation-minded, already achieving the 20% reduction requested by Gov. Schwarzenegger in February 2008. The District is asking the community to reduce outside watering, check for leaks inside and outside your home, and shorten your time in the shower. View the District website, www.cvwd.com or contact the office at (818) 248-3925 for the latest water alert status, conservation information, and rebate programs.