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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Fellow

Dr. Tony Fellow Announces Re-election Bid for Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District


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California is facing a once in 1,200 year drought and the San Gabriel Valley needs experienced, tested and proven leadership. Today, Dr. Tony Fellow formally announces that he will seek re-election to the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District for the November 8, 2022 General Election. Fellow currently represents Division 1, which includes the cities of Arcadia, Bradbury and Monrovia and portions of El Monte, Pasadena, Rosemead and Temple City.

"If water is coming from your tap and you are watering your outdoors two days a week during the worst drought in the State’s history, then thank a visionary, Tony Fellow,” Ken Manning, retired executive officer, the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority, said.

Fellow was instrumental in the construction of the Upper District’s first recycling project – the first such project in the whole of the San Gabriel Valley, despite fierce opposition to what special interests dubbed a “toilet-to-tap” project. Now those same critics, including Miller Brewing and regional water agencies, recognize the positive impacts this pioneering project continues to make for local communities throughout the Valley. Locally produced recycled water provides a low-cost and renewable alternative for non-potable needs, including manufacturing and irrigating parks and schools, keeps rates affordable by decreasing the demand for high-cost imported water and, most importantly, supplies our ongoing efforts to recharge and restore our local groundwater basin. This recycled water project served as a catalyst to what is now an evolving and progressing ecosystem of infrastructure, partnerships and technologies the Upper District is implementing to not only address the current water emergency, but “drought-proof” and safeguard the Valley for generations to come.

Currently, as Director of the Upper District and as a Board Member of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the largest water wholesaler in the United States, Fellow is supporting the region’s most comprehensive and large-scale water recycling project to date, Pure Water Southern California. Once complete, this plant will be the largest and most advanced water recycling facility in the world, and will produce 150 million gallons of water a day – that is enough to serve 500,000 homes.

Throughout his tenure of service, Fellow continues to partner with prominent federal and state politicians, including Congresswoman Grace Napolitano and United States Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla, to secure funding for water projects throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

In addition, Fellow is the author of the Upper District’s signature Reforestation Program, which actively works to conserve the Valley’s watershed. In partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, the federal government funded and built a sapling nursery for native trees in the Angeles National Forest. To this day, the program brings out students and volunteers to help conserve, restore and properly manage our threatened forests. “It has been an outstanding community event, bringing out youth groups, such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, to help plant oak trees and clean debris from streams,” Fellow said.

Fellow also established the Upper District’s first Water Conservation Program. This comprehensive mix of community programming, education and the distribution of water saving kits and items to residents, such as low flow faucets and rain barrels, has resulted in a 24% reduction in water usage. Fellow also inaugurated the Upper District’s annual Waterfest, a community event that offers demonstrations and discussions about water. “Some two to three thousand people participate in this annual event,” Fellow said. “We are planning for our first post-Covid Waterfest this October.”

As a Director of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Fellow supported and advocated for the building of Diamond Valley Lake, which has proven to be a vital reservoir during this drought.

“Tony Fellow is among the most respected water leaders in California. He continues to work hard for the San Gabriel Valley. We need his experience and leadership,” Gloria Gray, Director, West Basin Municipal Water District, says.

In his next term, Fellow’s action agenda calls for:

  • Importing Colorado River water to fill our aquifers;

  • Responding to water quality threats, such as PFAS;

  • Guaranteeing safe, clean water for generations to come, and

  • Improving water infrastructure.

“Dr. Fellow is one of the most respected and effective water leaders in California. We need him on the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water board,” says clean water advocate Carol Kwan.

Dr. Fellow is endorsed by Congresswoman Grace Napolitano; LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger; Senator Anthony Portantino; Senator Susan Rubio; Assemblywoman Laura Friedman; Tom Adams (Monrovia); April Verlato and Mayor Pro Tem Paul Cheng (Arcadia); Mayor Gloria Olmos (South El Monte); President Ed Chavez, Vice President Jennifer Santana, Secretary Katarina Garcia (Upper District MWD); Brian Bowcock, President Bob Kuhn, David De Jesus (Three Valleys MWD); Lenet Pacheco, President Jazmin Leos, Ralph Galvan, and Javier Vargas (Valley County MWD) (partial list).

Arcadia Mayor Pro Tem Paul Cheng says, “I am humbled that I am able to endorse one of the kindest out there. Each day he serves is another day our community thrives.”

Dr. Fellow was graduated with a Doctorate and Master’s from the University of Southern California. He also holds a Master’s from California State University, Fullerton. He is a distinguished university professor who taught at Cal State Fullerton and USC. Currently, he is a post-doctoral student in Theology at St. Joseph’s College. He is author of seven books. Before becoming a professor, he was an environmental journalist and the on-air host of several news/community TV programs. He continues to write columns on the environment.

He is married to Clara Potes-Fellow, who holds an MBA and MA. She is currently a fundraiser for nonprofits, and served as Press Secretary for CSU Chancellor Charlie Reed and for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Two years ago, Tony and Clara were both honored as Distinguish Citizens by the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles Boy Scouts of America.


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