History

ABOUT US

Hi-Desert Water District provides a safe, reliable water supply and sewer service for about 24,000 people in the Town of Yucca Valley and an unincorporated area in San Bernardino County, California.

The District was formed in 1962 to provide drinking water for a growing population in the Mojave Desert community, just north of what is now Joshua Tree National park. Our service area spans 57 square miles and includes about 300 miles of pipeline.

HDWD is committed to delivering the best-quality drinking water at the lowest possible cost. We remain vigilant in meeting the challenges of new regulations, source water protection, conservation, and community outreach and education while continuing to serve the needs of all our water users.

In addition to providing clean water, the District built and operates the area’s first centralized sewer system and wastewater treatment and reclamation facility to safeguard groundwater supplies and support the needs of current and future customers.

EARLY SETTLERS

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.

DISCOVERY OF WATER

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, which became known as Warren’s Well. Over time, the family built a windmill to pump the water and established the first settlement in the area.

FORMATION OF WATER DISTRICTS

In 1945, a group of investors that included Ted Jurling recognized Yucca Valley’s potential as the 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 individual developments. Over time, consolidations took place, but seven of them are still delivering water in the communities of Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, Morongo Valley, Flamingo Heights, Landers, and Twentynine Palms.

Hi-Desert Water District was formed in 1962 under the name Yucca Valley County Water District. In 1964, the District purchased the Joshua Forest Water Company, followed the next year by the Rancho Ramon and Mountain Mutual Water companies. 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.

The District grew as assessment districts were formed, primarily in the Yucca Mesa area. In 1990, Hi-Desert Water District acquired the assets of Yucca Water Company, Ltd., adding an additional 3,000 service connections.

TODAY

The District has more than 10,000 active service connections in a 57-square-mile service area. We operate 16 storage tanks, 13 wells, and maintain more than 297 miles of pipeline. We provide water and sewer services to the Town of Yucca Valley and a portion of the unincorporated area of San Bernardino County. Construction began on the first phase of a centralized sewer system and Wastewater Reclamation Facility began in 2017. The plant, which can treat 1.2 million gallons of wastewater a day, will begin operations in late 2019 and be followed by private property connections.

 


Facts


Boundaries

 

In 1962, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and voters approved the formation of what is now the Hi-Desert Water District (HDWD), formerly known as Yucca Valley County Water District (YVCWD). This created a special district operating under the provisions of County Water District Law and the California Water Code.

A year later, the San Bernardino County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) approved the annexation to YVCWD of the Starvista County Water District (which was then dissolved), giving YVCWD the authority to provide water within the annexed area. YVCWD also purchased the private Joshua Forest Water Company and two mutuals – the Rancho Ramon and Mountain Mutual Water companies. With these purchases, YVCWD expanded its service area to become what is now HDWD's current District boundaries.


Special District Map

Hi-Desert Water District is a special district formed by the community to oversee water service in Yucca Valley, the unincorporated section of San Bernardino County, and Yucca Mesa. You can visit www.csda.net to learn more about Special Districts in California.  If you would like to search and view various Special District boundaries click here.