Metropolitan Water District

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) was formed by an act of the California State legislature and incorporated on December 6th, 1928. Its sole purpose was to build and operate the Colorado River Aqueduct and bring water to Southern California and supplement local supplies.

Currently the MWD is a consortium of 26 cities and water districts that provides water to nearly 19 million people in parts of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. It delivers an average of 1.7 billion gallons of water per day to a service area in excess of 5,000 square miles.**


Historical Background

In 1925 the voters of Los Angeles approved a $2 million bond issue to perform the engineering for the Colorado River Aqueduct. The DWP brought the cities of the region together with Los Angeles in 1928 to form a state special district. An act of the State Legislature created the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). Its original purpose was to construct the Colorado River Aqueduct to supply supplemental water to Southern California. In 1931, voters approved a $220 million bond issue for construction, and work began on the ten-year project that would bring the water 300 miles to the coast.


(ca. 1930)* - A section of Colorado River Aqueduct pipeline has been set up by the Metropolitan Water District as a publicity booth in an outdoor public area.



Video of the History of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Click HERE for a short historical video.





Historical Chronology of MWD

Click HERE for an historical synopsis of events affecting the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Colorado River aqueduct project.





References and Credits

* DWP - LA Public Library Image Archive

**Metropolitan Water District Home Website

LA DWP: The Colorado River: A Regional Solution 

Beyond Chinatown, The MWD, Growth, and the Environment in Southern California - Steven P. Erie


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