The earliest known inhabitants of the Morongo Basin were the Serrano Indians. They migrated each year to hunting grounds via Big Morongo Canyon, where a series of springs provided a dependable water source. The various camps they set up were eventually used by cattlemen who adopted the route through the canyon as an alternate to the lower route through Indio on their way to Arizona.
One cattleman, Mark "Chuck" Warren, and his family built a homestead in what is now Yucca Valley. Warren and his sons dug by hand the first well in Yucca Valley, which became known as Warren's Well. Over time, the family built a windmill to pump the water and established the first settlement in Yucca Valley.
In 1945, a group of investors including Ted Jurling recognized Yucca Valley's potential as a location for post-war housing subdivisions like those being developed across Southern California. The group bought three sections of land and installed the first functional pump, forming the Yucca Water Company, Ltd. This process was repeated by other groups of developers, resulting in community water companies serving the new developments. Over time, the private water companies were sold to the public water agencies and consolidations took place to gain efficiencies.
Hi-Desert Water District was formed in 1962 to serve parts of Yucca Valley under the name of Yucca Valley County Water District. In 1964, the district purchased the Joshua Forest Water Company and subsequently the Rancho Ramon and Mountain Mutual Water companies the following year. In 1971, the district changed its name to Hi-Desert County Water District and in 1980 to Hi-Desert Water District to avoid confusion with the County. As the years went by the district grew as a result of the formation of many assessment districts, primarily on the mesa. In 1990, Hi-Desert Water District acquired the assets of Yucca Water Company, Ltd., adding 3,000 service connections on the west side of Yucca Valley, formerly served by Ted Jurling.
Six water providers serve the Morongo Basin today including Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency (Flamingo Heights, Landers & Johnson Valley), Joshua Basin Water District (Joshua Tree), Hi-Desert Water District (Yucca Valley, Yucca Mesa, and a small portion of Joshua Tree), Golden State Water (Morongo Valley), San Bernardino County Special Districts Service Areas (Pioneertown and Morongo Valley), and Twentynine Palms Water District (Twentynine Palms).