Water

A Brief History of The Sierra Madre Water Supply

In 1881, Nathaniel Carter purchased 1,103 acres of land from Elijah J. "Lucky" Baldwin, John Richardson, and the Southern Pacific Railroad.  The land now comprises the urbanized area of the City of Sierra Madre.  In just a year after Carter's purchase, the Sierra Madre Water Company was established.

Over the next century, Sierra Madre's primary source of water supply was groundwater from the Santa Anita sub-area (or Eastern Unit) of the Raymond Basin.  Four main wells were developed and maintained to deliver the City's adjudicated water.  A short time later, two tunnels, one on either side of the Sierra Madre Dam, also contributed to the water supply.

In 2013, drought conditions limited the Sierra Madre’s ability to draw groundwater, and the City was forced to switch to imported water to serve its residents. Currently, the City’s water supply consists of a mix of both imported and local groundwater. In 2019 the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District and the City of Sierra Madre worked together to identify a long-term solution to the challenges facing the City and the District. That led to a water wheeling agreement between Sierra Madre and Arcadia that also called for construction of a joint well to be located within the City of Arcadia, with water transmitted to Sierra Madre’s distribution as well. In January 2020, the District approved nearly $1.9 million in grant funding to begin construction of the joint well.

Check out the links located in the submenu for information on how residents, visitors, and businesses can save water and money, and do our part to conserve our State's precious resource.

Finally, Sierra Madre water customers have worked hard to conserve water and their efforts are much appreciated. All those who have done so are already leading the statewide charge to conserve water.

Thank you, and please keep up the good work!

HISTORIC Sierra Madre Flood Control Construction Video, Circa 1930

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