Where's Your Water?
Believe it or not, it’s actually right under your feet. Like the name suggests, groundwater is water that is stored underground. Think of it like a lake you can’t see. Those of us who call San Gabriel Valley home have a precious water resource just like this that we all live above and depend on every day. It’s called the San Gabriel Water Basin. Welcome to its story about the waters it holds and how those waters connect us to each other—from everyday use to meeting our future needs.
Where Does the Water Come From?
This underground basin holds rainfall, snowmelt and conserved water. These sources are called “local water supplies” because they are found right here in our San Gabriel Valley. They provide most of the basin’s waters. When needed, the basin also holds waters we purchase from “imported” sources, such as the Bay Delta and Colorado River. Importing water is expensive and requires a lot of energy. However, sometimes these imported waters are needed when rain, snow melt and conservation aren’t enough to sustain healthy water levels in our basin.
We Are All Related to the Basin
Each of us is in a relationship with this basin. Every time you turn the water on, you tap into this underground water supply. Every faucet, every shower head, and every garden hose connect to a network of pipes that—like a straw to a drink—pulls water from this underground source right into the life you are living.
Over 1.5 million of us depend on the basin’s waters every day. They give us common ground and a common cause to take care of the waters that take care of us.
Our Setting: More Sun than Rain
It isn’t news that Southern California is known for its sunny days and not for its rainy ones. This explains why most of us likely have more flip flops than umbrellas. Sometimes, months pass without a drop of rain. In fact, 16 out of the past 20 years have received below average rainfall. More often than not, dry conditions are our reality. Although they are good for the fun in the sun that Southern California offers, these conditions have severe consequences for the Main San Gabriel Basin.
Our Situation: Drought Recovery in Progress
Less rain means less water in the basin. Right now, the basin’s waters are significantly lower from their highest point in the the last two decades: right before the drought in 2007 began. Simply put, the drought isn’t over for our basin because its impacts aren't over.