Press Releases / Media


California’s 10 year drought reaches emergency levels
State water experts converge on Sierra Madre 3/21

SIERRA MADRE, CA MARCH 18, 2015 – San Gabriel Valley’s first World Water Day is Saturday, March 21st at Memorial Park in Sierra Madre from 9am-5pm. The community event brings together world class speakers, renown landscape architects, arborists, star musicians, celebrated game show host from Supermarket Sweeps, Dave Ruprecht, hosting “Water Wizards” with audience contestants, children’s activities, water colorists, booths with interactive activities and invaluable information about your water, a tour of our water treatment plant and some of the 6 best food trucks in LA including winner of the Food Network’s competition. This event, sponsored by the City of Sierra Madre and the Sierra Madre Rotary Club, promises to be one of the most important events of the year.

With California’s worst drought and the City of Sierra Madre’s 30% mandatory water conservation efforts, organizers have designed a full day of community awareness and solutions to make the most of our most valuable natural resource, Water. This water usage issue is the most important one facing our community today and for the next generation,” remarked Joan Riback, a Sierra Madre Rotary member and chair of World Water Day 2015.

A panel of experts on California’s water crisis will open the day. The Keynote speaker, Dr. Jay Famiglietti, a hydrologist, professor and the Senior Water Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will highlight the reality of our current and future water supplies. Famiglietti is also a member of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, and he and his team have been researching and communicating about water and climate change in academics, business, government and to the general public for over 25 years. He not only appeared as a featured expert on 60 Minutes, he is a regular contributor to National Geographic Water Currents and the Huffington Post and is often featured in the international news media, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Economist, CNN, Al Jazeera, National Public Radio, BBC Radio and others. He is currently working on his first book on the global groundwater crisis.

Accompanying Famiglietti will be a dynamic panel with each speaker giving a short presentation, followed by an engaging panel discussion and then a question and answer period. The panel will consist of Bettina Boxall who covers water issues and the environment for the Los Angeles Times and is a Pulitzer Prize winnerMolly Peterson, an award-winning environment correspondent at Southern California Public Radio and has been recognized as the LA Press Club radio journalist of the year; and Timothy Brick is the Managing Director of the Arroyo Seco Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to the protection and promotion of the Arroyo Seco watershed, and was the Board Chairman for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.


The afternoon panel of speakers, including Tom Love, PE of the San Gabriel Valley Water District and Bruce Inman, Director of the Sierra Madre Public Works, who will address the water issues, planning, and conservation steps facing our local community in the face of a 30% mandatory household water reduction. The final speakers of the day feature landscape architects, designers, and arborists talking on drought resistant landscaping from the Theodore Payne Foundation, The Los Angeles Arboretum, WaterWise, Armstrong and Walker and FormLA. Topics include Aesthetics and Sustainable Garden Design, commercial landscaping, vegetable gardens and California Native plants.

The two hour mid-day session held in the band shell, will feature premier music by Smitty and Son. Keyboard musician Sasha Smith has worked on Emmy winning and Grammy nominated projects, toured the world playing keyboards, and is currently scoring the music to the feature film, Aimy in a Cage, starring Crispen Glover. He has performed with Sia, Ariana Grande, Fred Armisen, Everclear and many others. He wrote Yoga Lin’s #1 hit song Fly My Way, holding at #1 for six weeks in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. Other band members are Ross Garren and Eamon Rayland. Garren, on harmonica, has arranged for BB King, and performed on countless recordings including Dumb and Dumber To and is faculty at the Musician’s Institute. Ryland has played pedal steel and guitar with Mandy Moore, Kyle Cook (Matchbox 20) and Slash (Guns&Roses) and written for artists ranging from Mickey Avalon to Shaun Ryder (Happy Mondays).

Along with the music, Sierra Madre’s Dave Ruprecht, the game show host for Supermarket Sweeps for 15 years, will host the game show, “Water Wizards,” with contestants from the audience. Winners of the student water conservation competition will also be announced during the noon hour.


An amazing gourmet selection of LA’s best Food trucks will occupy the corner of Sierra Madre Blvd and Hermosa Blvd. with such winners as:  The Middle Feast,  MeSoHungry, Poke2Go,  Wise BBQ,  Em’s Desserts  and our own Sierra Madre favorite :  i-Fruggie, blending fruit and vegetable healthy drinks. 

“We need volunteers and are inviting water conservation participants to set up
their water related booths in Memorial Park. We kicked off an area wide school
competition which will encourage parents, teachers and students to participate
at many levels with $1500 in prizes are slated. A video showing the best of
Sierra Madre water conservation practices will be produced during the event.
Children’s activities will be held throughout the day, with satellite displays and activities from JPL, a fun-filled presentation on water by with the San Gabriel Valley Water District, watercolor painting booths, animated videos, the Water Wise Owl and more.


For more information and volunteer opportunities, visit and save the date in Sierra Madre.

Television news vans must contact Tom Brady, Media Relations to reserve your spot in front of City Hall 232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Check in time is 8:30am through 4pm at the Rotary Media Tent. Lunch provided for the news crews. Thank you!


Joan Riback, Chair

Tom Brady, Media Relations, Day of Event
Past President  Rotary Club of Sierra Madre

March 21st  – Area Schools are invited to participate in WaterDay 2015



Rotary WaterDay2015 Chair, Joan Riback
Rotary WaterDay2015 Chair, Joan Riback

SIERRA MADRE, CA  JANUARY 17, 2015 – With  the support of the City of Sierra Madre and Rotary we are hosting a special all day water day exposition on Saturday, March 21st, 2015 from 9am-5pm in Memorial Park and at City Hall facilities including tours of the  water
maintenance yard near Heasley Field on Sierra Madre Blvd.

“We need volunteers and are inviting water conservation participants to set up
their water related booths in Memorial Park. We kicked off an area wide school
competition which will encourage parents, teachers and students to participate
at many levels with $1500 in prizes are slated. A video showing the best of
Sierra Madre water conservation practices will be produced during the event.
International water experts from UC Irvine and NASA / JPL  Dr. Jay Famiglietti,
Thomas A. Love, PE  and local government agencies, area water board members have
confirmed to participate in this major event held at City Hall and Memorial

Dr. Jay Famiglietti
Dr. Jay Famiglietti
Tom Love, PE
Tom Love, PE

The day of event program includes  workshops, tours of Sierra Madre water
facilities at Heasley Field, low water usage landscaping demonstrations using Califorinia native plants and wild flowers thanks to guest speaker Lisa Novick from the Theodore Payne Foundation,  Kelley Hanna from Water Wise Now,  Cassy Aoyagi of FORMLAInc Anna Armstrong from Armstrong and Walker and guest presentations by Frank McDonough from the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.

Several famous food trucks will be available on on S. Hermosa Avenue and Sierra Madre Blvd. noon live music featuring Smitty and Sons in Memorial Park, kids activities, and educational seminars for all ages,” reported Riback.

Hart Park House in Memorial Park, corner of Hermosa and Sierra Madre Blvd.
Hart Park House in Memorial Park, corner of Hermosa and Sierra Madre Blvd.


Eco-friendly gardens at the Kensington Sierra Madre
and location of water color artists on display for the
morning and afternoon sessions.

Lawn next to bandshell
Lawn next to bandshell, location of our booths

photo(4) photo(2)

There is no charge for the event and a few remaining demonstration booths are
available on a limited basis.   Contact for and please
save the date March 21st and visit the WaterDay2015 website:

Media Contact:

Tom Brady
Sierra Madre Rotary Club, WaterDay2015

Tags:  WaterDay 2015  March 21, ’15   City Hall, Sierra Madre  and Memorial Park at the corner of Sierra Madre Blvd and S. Hermosa Avenue. 91024





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