Desert Water Agency celebrates 60 years on Sept. 15, 1961. The Agency was formed as a special district to ensure adequate water for the western part of the Coachella Valley.

Check out our gallery and timeline for a look at DWA through the years.


Click on each year to see the information.


  • In October construction of the Snow Creek Filtration Plant is completed. The plant filters water for distribution to Snow Creek Village. 



  • Construction on the Snow Creek Filtration Plant begins. 


  • In April Gov. Jerry Brown lifts the drought state of emergency. The drought is officially over but DWA still promotes and implements water conservation measures for long-term sustainability. 


  • Sustainable Groundwater Management Act becomes law
  • DWA becomes Groundwater Sustainability Agency within its boundaries
  • Water restrictions are implemented as a result of the drought. 


  • MSWD, DWA, CVWD and other agencies work to update Regional Water Management Plan


  • Water Management Plan adopted by MSWD, DWA and CVWD


  • Start of the one of the worst droughts in the region on record. Gov. Jerry Brown calls for a “drought state of emergency” across the state. 


  • MSWD, DWA, CVWD and other agencies work to develop Regional Water Management Plan
  • DWA completes 1/2 million gallon reservoir, expanding the influent storage capacity at the recycling facility  


  • DWA re-landscaped the Operations Center with water efficient desert landscaping to serve as a conservation garden. 



  • DWA installs a solar field at its operations center.



  • DWA completes construction of the Mission Creek Groundwater Replenishment ponds to recharge the subbasins in the area north of Palm Springs with imported water. 



  • Desert Water Agency requests MSWD support to commence groundwater replenishment program
  • MSWD passes Resolution 2001-15 to support DWA's groundwater replenishment program


  • MSWD General Manager sends letter to DWA acknowledging DWA and CVWD as the entities responsible for managing and replenishing the Mission Creek Groundwater Subbasin


  • DWA and CVWD begin replenishing groundwater supply through exchange with Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
  • DWA and CVWD enter into separate exchange agreements with Metropolitan Water District for Colorado River Supplies


  • DWA enters into contract with the Department of Water Resources for imported water
  • Property owners in Desert Hot Springs area petition DWA to be brought into the DWA boundary
  • DWA passes ordinance to annex Desert Hot Springs area only if Desert Hot Springs County Water District (now named Mission Springs Water District) consents
  • Desert Hot Springs County Water District (now MSWD) passes resolution to be annexed into DWA
  • Desert Hot Springs community votes to be annexed into DWA service area
  • DWA expands boundaries


  • On Sept. 15, Senate Bill 1082 becomes effective establishing DWA as a special district. 
  • On Sept. 18, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors appoint the first DWA directors: Francis Crocker, Edgar McCoubrey, George Ripley and Herbert Samson, all of Palm Springs, and Ivan Sharp of Cathedral City.