History & Mission
By the 1950s the San Gabriel Valley was undergoing rapid urbanization, and the need for water was growing. Increased groundwater extraction, combined with an extended drought, had depleted groundwater supplies. Water suppliers and others in the Valley saw a need to organize themselves and initiate coordinated action to bring groundwater extraction under control, and to begin planning for the time when supplemental water would need to be obtained for use in the Valley.
In June of 1955, representatives of fifty agencies met in order to organize what was originally called the Upper San Gabriel Valley Water Association. Robert T. Radford of the City of Monrovia was chosen as its first President, and M.E. Moseley of El Monte as Executive Secretary. The Association provided the first governance structure for groundwater users in the area. The specific mission of the Association is:
To take an active interest in the matters relating to the quantity and quality of water supplies in the San Gabriel Valley;
To investigate such matters;
To formulate and distribute educational data in connection with the water supplies in the San Gabriel Valley;
To investigate and influence legislative measures which relate to the water supply in the San Gabriel Valley;
To cooperate with those interested in or affected by such matters.
Over the years the Association has had an active role in the management and protection of the Valley's water resources. Beginning as early as the 1960s, it initiated studies on groundwater demands, future supplemental water requirements, and the potential use of reclaimed water. It also established a program for the regular collection of water production data from its members, which was to prove essential years later when water rights were adjudicated and the groundwater supply was allocated in the form of pumpers' shares.
Association members were instrumental in determining the need for, and engineering the creation of, the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District in 1959. Later, the Association played a key role in bringing about the adjudication of water rights in the Main San Gabriel Basin and the subsequent creation of the Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster. Most recently, the Association supported the establishment of the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority.
In 1993 the Association was reorganized and incorporated as a nonprofit public benefit corporation. Late 1998 saw new bylaws adopted, so that the Executive Committee became -- as of Jan. 1, 1999 -- the Board of Directors; members of the former Board of Directors are now designated voting representatives.