The La Cañada Irrigation District was formed in 1924 by a vigilant committee of landowners who recognized the need for a solution to the growing demands of the region’s rapidly expanding population.
The landowners initially came together in 1922, as a surge of ranches began settling across the foothills and raised concerns about an imminent water shortage. They recognized the value of an expanded water system able to support their growing community and they set out to achieve their vision as the “La Cañada Irrigation District Committee.”
But the formation of the District was no easy task, as it first required the consolidation of the old La Canada Water Company (founded in the late 1800s) and the Alta Canada Mutual Water Company (founded in the early 1900’s). This, of course, meant a complicated legal process and the angry opposition of older land barons who didn’t want to relinquish their valuable property and water rights to accommodate the influx of newcomers.
However, the committee persevered and continued to negotiate until matters were finally resolved. On April 13, 1924, Los Angeles County approved the formation of the La Canada Irrigation District and thus began the development of its water system. The fledgling young company began with three water sources that combined groundwater from two wells located in the Monk Hill subarea of the Raymond Basin and tunnel water piped in from Pickens Canyon. While this initial system provided the District’s early customers with a reliable water supply to survive on, water conservation was essential and families were restricted to filling their household storage on specified days at specific times.