The History of Mesa Water District

The Early Years

Around 1906, the community Mesa Water District (Mesa Water) proudly serves was established on what is known as the "coastal tableland". At that time, the city of Costa Mesa was known as Harper. Only a few years earlier, severe drought had driven most of the original farming families away.

The Water Begins to Flow

The La Habra Valley Land and Water Company built the first water system in the area and drilled the very first well in 1910, bringing much needed water to the parched community. In 1913 the Fairview Farms Mutual Water Company constructed a system to be used for agricultural purposes and in 1918 the Newport Heights Irrigation District was formed to serve domestic and irrigation water. These two agencies later acquired the facilities of the La Habra Water Company.

The Growth of a Community

Because of the continued growth in the early 1900s, the Newport Mesa Irrigation District and the Santa Ana Heights Water Company were created to meet the demand of the booming community. Years later, two of the agencies renamed themselves. The Fairview Farms Mutual Water Company became the Fairview County Water District and Newport Heights Irrigation District became the Newport Mesa County Water District.

The Historical Merger

In 1953, the city of Costa Mesa became an incorporated city and in 1955, it created a municipal water system to serve the areas beyond the four existing district boundaries.

On June 30, 1959, the Governor of California, Edmund Gerald “Pat” Brown, Sr. signed Senate Bill 1375 (Costa Mesa District Merger Law). On January 1, 1960, Mesa Water (formerly known as the Costa Mesa County Water District) commenced operations by acquiring the assets and obligations and assumed the responsibility of consolidating the city of Costa Mesa's Water Department, Fairview County Water District, Newport Mesa Irrigation District, and Newport Mesa County Water District. The Santa Ana Heights Water Company was originally involved in merger discussions, but withdrew before consolidation.

Mesa Water set a precedent with this merger as the first California water agency to consolidate two or more water agencies and assume both their assets and debts.