Gay Desert Hot Springs

They Give Us Water: Mission Springs Water District

Posted on May 16, 2022

Our Mission Statement

Mission Springs Water District has one simple mission: Provide, protect, preserve our most valuable resource… water. Those eight words capture a complex and dynamic task.

A Brief History

While prospecting for water, early homesteaders in the desert discovered the hot springs that made this area famous. It was not until 1940, however, that the first subdivisions were established and L. W. Coffee started the village he called Desert Hot Springs.

Early Water Company

The critical need for fresh water led residents to form a mutual water company, which eventually proved unsatisfactory. Later, a privately-owned utility, called the Desert Hot Springs Mutual Water Company, acquired its assets. But this too failed and widespread dissatisfaction led local citizens to form a publicly-owned water district.

Water District Formed

By 1953, an election swept the new Desert Hot Springs County Water District into existence with a vote of 246 to 9. The new District began with 100,000 feet of pipelines, five water wells and two reservoirs. It covered one square mile.

The District expanded rapidly. It absorbed parts of the Coachella Valley County Water District, the West Palm Springs Village and San Gorgonio Mutual Water Company systems. Today, it boasts more than 1.25 million feet of pipelines, 14 water wells and 24 reservoirs, serving an area of 135 square miles.

Sanitary System Added

As early as 1954, local citizens petitioned for sewer service. The cost, however, was prohibitive. But growth brought an overload to the septic systems and health hazards to the community. The District built the Alan L. Horton Wastewater Treatment Plant in 1972, and it has been expanded four times to a treatment capacity of two million gallons of wastewater a day.