Since 1927, United Water Conservation District has distinguished itself as a leader among water agencies by conserving and enhancing water resources of the Santa Clara River while working to protect the river's natural features. United continues to enhance water supplies through groundwater replenishment, and through the construction and operation of water supply and delivery systems.
Situated in central Ventura County, the District encompasses the fertile Santa Clara River Valley and Oxnard Coastal Plain. This 214,000 acre area receives from 12 to 20 inches of rainfall each year. Year-round agriculture flourishes in the mild, Mediterranean- type climate.
Today, United serves as the conservator of groundwater resources that are utilized by the cities of Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Ventura, Santa Paula, and Fillmore, as well as several mutual water districts and numerous farms and individual pumpers. It also provides surface water for agricultural irrigation and provides treated drinking water to the cities of Oxnard and Port Hueneme.
United conserves runoff from all major tributaries of the Santa Clara River within the District, including Piru, Hopper, Sespe, and Santa Paula Creeks. Otherwise, much of this water would simply flow out to sea.
Governance & Administration
Formed in 1950, United Water Conservation District consists of a 45-member team of water professionals, including four civil engineers, five hydrogeologists, and a surface water hydrologist. A seven-member, elected Board of Directors governs the agency's policy-making activities dedicated to water conservation and protection.
Headquartered in Santa Paula, United encompasses 214,000 acres of the Santa Clara River Valley and the Oxnard Plain. District facilities include the Lake Piru Recreation area; Santa Felicia Dam and Hydroelectric Facility; spreading grounds in Saticoy, El Rio and Piru; the Freeman Diversion Facility; the Oxnard Hueneme Pipeline System; and an agricultural water delivery system.
United provides potable water to the City of Oxnard, the Port Hueneme Water Agency, which includes Naval Base Ventura County, and several small mutual water companies. United also provides surface water to growers on the Oxnard Plain, to offset groundwater pumping in that area.
United Water Conservation District is funded primarily through groundwater pumping charges, property taxes, and water delivery charges. With development, as well as maintenance and operational expenses, United manages an annual budget of about $19 million. Cooperative programs with other agencies help maximize the use of District resources and promote mutually beneficial projects. United is an active participant in the community it serves and has a strong commitment to county, state and national water issues.