By Susan Motander
The Monrovia City Council held a special study session last week to discuss the water supply in the San Gabriel Basin and the on-going drought (the drought may be over in Northern California, but not here in Los Angeles County). In May of this year the Watermaster of the Main San Gabriel Basin aquifer, of which Monrovia is a part of, instituted a new fee on all water producers in the San Gabriel Valley.
This new fee was implemented to help remedy the water shortage. After years of drought conditions, the water level in the aquifer has fallen very low. In order for the aquifer to be considered healthy, it needs to remain above 200 feet. It lowest level was 172.2 feet last October just before the rains last winter. It has now reached only 177.8 feet, still shy of the healthy level. The watermaster has determined that unless conservation efforts continue and improve, the wells will go dry by the end of this year, this includes the wells in Monrovia.
To combat this, the watermaster made a large purchase of water, 40.7 billion gallons at a cost of more than $100 million, to replenish the aquifer. That cost will be passed along to those who pump water from the local wells. This means that water will be more expensive. The city is looked at analyzing the issue and looks to complete this study by the end of September this year.
The city is also working on a multi-pronged plan to address this issue. Part of that program is an educational element. To that end the city has produced an informational video. It can be viewed on line by going to the city’s website, www.cityofmonrovia.org and clicking on the government section. From there, click on the City Manager’s update. There is a link to the video under this week’s report.