The CVWD provides water to most of La Crescenta and Montrose, as well as parts of La Cañada and Glendale. It serves 32,000 customers, most of who live in single-family homes.
During a tour of CVWD facilities for members of the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley on May 23, engineer David Gould explained that 50-60% of CVWD water comes from local sources, including 12 wells and a tunnel in Pickens Canyon. Approximately 40 to 50 percent comes from the Foothill Municipal Water District, which in turn gets much of its water from the Metropolitan Water District.
A string of dry winters coupled with increased demand has impacted water reserves throughout California, Gould said. Further, concerns about the survival of small fish called a Delta Smelt prompted a federal judge to restrict that pumping of water down the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta, a major source of water for Southern California.
Other water companies, such as the Metropolitan Water District, have announced serious water restrictions and rate hikes. Because CVWD water comes from multiple sources, La Crescenta property owners are not as susceptible to the steep increases in price faced by some. Nevertheless, the CVWD water supply has shrunk as a result of the reductions by the Metropolitan Water District, Erdman said.
“We have a 10% reduction in our allowable water from a year ago,” Erdman said. “If we stay within the 90% allotted to us, there is no penalty.”
There are a myriad of ways by which consumers can reduce the amount of water they use, Erdman said, thus both helping the environment and saving money. Simple behavioral changes such as taking shorter showers, fixing leaky faucets and washing only full loads of laundry can save tens of gallons of water a day.
There are also many water efficient household items, such a high efficiency toilets and low flow shower heads, that are available in most hardware stores, Erdman said.
Further, the CVWD is offering a rebate of up to $800 for property owners who re-landscape their lawns with California native drought resistant plants, Erdman said.