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Rains Helped but There's Not Much Water in Reserve

April 07, 1991

How goes the drought? Our three San Gabriel canyon reservoirs contain 32,200 acre-feet in storage, up 114% from March 19, 1990. The much larger capacity valley ground-water table has recovered a few feet from record low levels due to above average local winter rains and the so-called "March miracle."

However, a decade of regrettable overproduction of well water under supervision of the (Main San Gabriel Basin) Valley Watermaster--with an exceptional year or two--has left us not much cushioning in reserve. Always betting on a bigger next year never works in water or at Las Vegas.

You are the patron and yours is the bankroll for the watermaster appointees. Your generous water bill payments support them. Valley water company abuses may be countered through assertive use of an appeals process, which differs according to the company.

A final suggestion: Water charges based upon hundreds of cubic feet of water usage per billing period could be changed to a less confusing "gallons-per-day" system. This current system compares to a world where speed limit is measured in furlongs per fortnight, instead of miles per hour.

Clearly expressing water usage, and routinely including gallonage for identical billing periods 12 month earlier, will help people gauge water conservation progress.

BILL ROBINSON

Director, Upper San Gabriel Valley

Municipal Water District

West Covina

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