Water & Monrovia
Where does Monrovia get its water? We get our water directly from the ground
through our own wells. Monrovia is blessed that we have a soil type that allows
rain water to percolate directly into the ground instead of just evaporating or being
diverted out to the ocean. In fact, according to Dr. Tony Fellow, Director Division
1 on the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, Monrovia is able to
retain about 95% of its rain water. Problem is if it doesn’t rain, there’s no water to
retain and that brings us to what we do in times of drought and how can we better
As a Monrovia Councilman, one of my duties is to better educate myself on the
issues we face and water is one of those issues. Last year I traveled with members
of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, as well as members of
the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District for a tour of Southern
California’s water infrastructure. We visited Hoover Dam, Copper Basin
Reservoir, Whitsett Intake Pumping Plant, Palos Verde Diversion Project on the
Colorado River and Hayday Farms.
In a drought Monrovia isn’t getting rainfall needed for our water needs so we
would need to get water from outside sources. One of the biggest takeaways from
the tour was that the days of huge water public works projects are probably over,
due to the cost and time they take to get up and running.
For Monrovia we need to look to alternative ways to secure safe and reliable water
in case of drought. Our California drought is temporarily relieved with our most
recent rains in 2023, but prolonged dry spells could be the norm for California.
In order to better educate myself on the issue of water, I found a special
organization that educates local leaders on water issues affecting cities and water
districts. The organization is called WELL, Water Education for Elected Latino
Leaders. Special thanks to Monrovia City Councilwoman Gloria Crudgington for
recommending this organization to me.
What is WELL? WELL’s mission statement is: “WELL educates and trains local
elected officials about California water policy to promote timely and equitable
actions that serve to develop a robust economy, healthy communities, and a
resilient environment for all Californians.” One WELL meting and I was hooked. I also found out at that same meeting that WELL had a selective, “six month program for local elected leaders aimed at helping participants make an impact on California water policy while addressing individual community water challenges.”
The WELL untapped water fellowship program meetings are held at different
watersheds in California with water professionals with a passion for the issue of
water. I’ve felt challenged, inspired and a little worried but ultimately cautiously
optimistic and better prepared on how to deal with this issue here in Monrovia.
In Monrovia the best way to deal with water is to conserve water. It’s less
expensive than big building projects such as dams and storage tanks. Although
partnership with adjacent foothill communities to help store water for drier years is
the next best solution. To further look into partnerships with other communities, I
became an alternate member of the SGVCOG (San Gabriel Valley Council of
Governments) Water Committee. Local communities on this committee include
the cities of Glendora, Claremont, Temple City, the Upper San Gabriel Valley
Water District, and others.
The long term challenges that drought poses to Monrovia and, indeed, all of
Southern California, are great but we can be better prepared if we conserve, work
in partnerships with other communities, and educate ourselves and the public on
the issue of water.