History of the Yorba Linda Water District

Historic Photo Of water pipeThe present YLWD was organized as the Yorba Linda County Water District (YLCWD) on January 2, 1959 as a result of a vote of local residents.

The new district was formed according to the provisions of County Water District Law under Division XII of the California Water Code (Section 30000 et seq.). On January 2, 1959 voters in the proposed district authorized issuance of $1,900,000 in General Obligation bonds to finance the purchase of assets belonging to the Yorba Linda Water District and construction of water improvements to the growing Yorba Linda community.

Through 1959 the service area was largely rural in character with a small residential community at its center. In 1959 the service area covered 4,710 acres and the YLCWD provided service to 1,412 active connections. From 1959 through the mid–1970's, YLCWD experienced a gradual transition from a rural, agriculturally oriented area to a suburban community.

In 1978 the District's Board of Directors agreed to annex lands to the east of then current boundaries that more than doubled the District's size. These annexations made YLCWD the largest County Water District in terms of geographic area in Orange County.

Annexations completed in 1989 added 50 acres to the District's service area. Annexations completed in 1996 added another 843 acres. The District’s present size is about 14,475 acres.

In response to the proposed 1978 annexations, the Board of Directors commissioned the preparation of a Water Facilities Master Plan by James M. Montgomery, Consulting Engineers. The Plan identified water production, storage, and transmission facilities to service the newly acquired territory, and estimated the cost to construct the major water facilities.

The proposed annexations were divided into two Improvement Districts representing separate areas of benefit to future homeowners. The Yorba Linda County Water District Board of Directors approved annexation of Improvement District No. 1 in May of 1978 and Improvement District No. 2 in June of 1978. Subsequently, voters in the two Improvement Districts authorized issuance of General Obligation Bonds to finance construction of backbone facilities.

To date a total of two series of General Obligation Bonds have been issued in Improvement District No. 1 and three series, along with one refinancing issue, in Improvement District No. 2. These annexations increased YLWD’s service area by 50%.

Subsequently, YLWD entered a phase of high development within these annexations over the next twenty-five years. In November of 1985 the Board of Directors, seeking a more accurate identification as an independent special district, dropped the "County" designation, thus officially changing the District's name to Yorba Linda Water District (YLWD).

In 1996 the District annexed acreage in the former Shell Oil property, adding additional area contributing to a projected 10% increase in service connections.

Currently about 90% of the service area is developed. From 1978 through 1981 YLWD experienced growth of water service connections that occasionally exceeded 12% per year. In the past few years the growth rate has slowed, along with Southern California’s general economic slowdown.