San Gabriel Valley Water Smart City Challenge

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2015 Winner of The San Gabriel Valley Water Smart City Challenge

The Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors responded to Governor Jerry Brown’s emergency drought declaration in January 2014 by unveiling a creative public outreach campaign.  The campaign goal was to create a challenge that engaged all cities within Upper District’s service area to lead by example when it comes to water conservation and making conservation a way a life.  The challenge utilized existing conservation programs with innovative outreach components that encourage cities to promote drought awareness to their residents. On October 7, 2014, West Covina City Council approved participation in the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District’s Water Smart City Challenge.  The challenge was open to all 18 cities located within the Upper District’s service area.  Under this program, the City had to accomplish 8 of 12 suggested tasks. If successful, the City would be eligible to receive $50,000 in grant funds for water conservation projects, storm water capture projects, or recycled water projects.  The receipt of the grant is contingent on which participating jurisdiction received the highest amount of water rebates per capita by city residents and businesses.


On Thursday, July 2, 2015, the City was notified that West Covina was selected by the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District as one of three winning cities. The City of West Covina was awarded a $50,000 sustainable watershed grant, a commemorative San Gabriel Valley Water Smart City Seal, and the City was recognized at a community luncheon event held on Friday, July 24, 2015.  Listed below are the 8 challenges that the City completed:


  1. Conduct a city-wide messaging campaign promoting water conservation and water rebates for West Covina residents.

    Inserts were included in the November Athens Disposal billing sent to residents and businesses.


  2. Water reduction program.

    The Upper District conducted a large landscape water audit at the Civic Center, Del Norte Park, Palm View Park, and Orangewood Park that contributes to the City’s overall water use reduction.


  3. City attendance to water educational programs.

    Three City Council members have attended educational water-wise events.  On April 29, 2014, Mayor Fred Sykes and Councilman Mike Spence attended Water 101, on May 22, 2014, Mayor Fred Sykes attended the Water Education Foundation Tour, and on October 2, 2014, Mayor Pro Tem James Toma and Councilmember Corey Warshaw attended the San Gabriel Valley Water Forum.  Staff has also attended Diamond Valley Lake Reservoir Inspection Trip on March 26, 2015.


  4. Host and on city website throughout the duration of Governor Jerry Brown’s drought declaration.

    Both links are currently displayed on the City website.


  5. Host a high efficiency toilet (HET) giveaway with a participating city water provider and Upper District.

    The City partnered with Suburban Water Systems, West Covina High School and Eco Tech Services in a free high efficiency toilet giveaway on Saturday, March 7th.  Three hundred high efficiency toilets were given away.  Only customers of Suburban Water Systems were eligible to participate in this program.


  6.  Host a high efficient landscape class in conjunction with Upper District for residents. 

    Staff, along with the Upper District, hosted the California Friendly Landscape Class on Saturday, April 4th 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Maintenance Yard.


  7. Create a thirty second Public Service Announcement (PSA) featuring residents, local business owners, or city elected officials highlighting conservation best practices.

    Public Service Announcement highlighting water conservation was completed.


  8. Obtain the highest rebate dollars per capita by city residents and businesses through

Residents participated on-line through to obtain the rebate dollars.


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