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The Basics

The Story Of Our Water

All 1.5 million of us who call the San Gabriel Valley home have something in common — our water. About 80% of the water we depend on every day is held deep down underground in earth’s natural bedrock held deep down underground in an area of the earth called a "basin." In the San Gabriel Valley, every faucet, every shower head, and every garden hose connects 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.


Our water basin holds groundwater deep down underground, about a 100 yards below the earth’s surface. Think of it as about the distance of a soccer or football field.

Our Basin: 100 Yards Underground

Our Water Is Mostly From Here

Rainfall, snowmelt and conserved water are “local water supplies” that are found right here in our San Gabriel Valley. They provide most of the basin’s waters. When needed, the basin also holds “imported” sources from the Bay Delta in Northern California and the Colorado River. Imported water is expensive, requires energy to pump it hundreds of miles, and may not be available when we need it due to widespread droughts. We import water when our local rain, snowmelt and conservation aren’t enough. Currently, our groundwater level is just below midpoint between its historic high and low points, meaning it hasn’t recovered from recent droughts.

Basin Water Levels

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Our Water Is In A Drought Cycle

Our water is in a continual drought cycle. It is either in drought, recovering from drought or preparing for the next drought. Right now, our groundwater basin is recovering from the last drought and preparing for the next one to begin. Next time someone asks you if we’re out of drought, let them know we’re still in a drought cycle.

Our Drought Cycle Since 2000

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