From as far back as the mid-1800s, farmers have been pumping water from private wells in the Santa Clara River valley and Oxnard plain. Over the past century as the wells became deeper, the water demand grew higher and overdraft began to occur. "Overdraft" means that more water is being taken out of the aquifers than is replaced by groundwater recharge, and can result in poor water quality, increased pump lifts, and seawater intrusion. To prevent overdrafts, United must monitor and at times restrict the amount of water being pulled from the aquifer through these private wells. Over the years it has constructed and operated various facilites to help address this issue.
California State Water Code requires all water wells within the boundaries of the United Water Conservation District be registered both with the District and with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). Wells are registered with the California Department of Water Resources and the Ventura county Watershed Protection District issues permits on behalf of DWR. In addition, groundwater production statements from each well are filed by the pumper on a semi- annual basis with SWRCB. United is then able to maintain records of water usage throughout the District.
Pumping of all individual water wells within the district must be reported to United. This requirement helps maintain accurate water usage figures. An extensive network of monitoring wells is used to measure water levels and test water quality throughout the District.
Funds generated by pump charges are used to operate projects within the District to the benefit of all.