Fontana Water Company History

In 1945, San Gabriel Valley Water Company purchased Fontana Domestic Water Company, which today is the company's Fontana Water Company division. But the company had its modest beginnings as part of Fontana Union Water Company which was formed as a mutual water company in 1912. The owners of the company were the water users, principally farmers and ranchers who used the water for irrigation. Fontana Union and its predecessors had secured the lion's share of the rights to surface flow and groundwater in and around Lytle Creek. The formation of Fontana Union in 1912 also provided a means for financing and constructing the water system needed to transport water from Lytle Creek to the farms and citrus groves that dominated the landscape in and around the Fontana area.


As agriculture flourished, the area that is now central Fontana began to develop as a residential community. By the 1920s, the town had grown to the point where the existing agricultural irrigation system could not meet all of the community's increasing domestic water needs. In 1924, Fontana Domestic Water Company was formed as a public utility to meet these increasing needs, and Fontana Union was the sole source of supply for that water system.

During World War II, a major change occurred in Fontana when Henry J. Kaiser built the steel mill as part of this country's war effort. After the war, the steel mill remained and Fontana became an important industrial center with businesses involved in steelmaking and fabrication and related industries. With industrial development came significant population growth.


Fontana Water Company continued to rely entirely on Fontana Union for its water supply. As the need for water increased, Fontana Union developed additional water supplies outside of the Lytle Creek area, such as in the Rialto Basin and in the Chino Basin. As industry and population increased, Fontana's agricultural industry declined and the once numerous citrus groves and packinghouses dwindled and disappeared from the scene. The water once used for agriculture was devoted more and more to meeting the domestic needs of the growing community.


By the mid 1980s, Kaiser closed the steel mill and a process of profound change was set in motion in the Fontana area. The City of Fontana encouraged large, planned, residential, commercial, and light industrial developments in the area. Fontana Water Company responded by growing with the community and meeting all of the existing and developing water system needs.


In 1992, Fontana Water Company acquired all of the principal water production, storage, and distribution facilities of Fontana Union Water Company. Fontana Water Company is now conducting those operations. Acquisition of the Fontana Union water system was an important milestone in the development and growth of Fontana Water Company allowing us to produce all the water to meet the customers' water needs. Fontana Water Company was then able to develop a long-term water supply master plan to enable the company to ensure that future water supply facilities are in place to serve the community's future water supply needs.


Fontana Water Company now provides water utility service to a population of more than 209,000. Customer service, engineering, and operations are conducted and managed at the Fontana Water Company Headquarters complex located at 15966 Arrow Route, Fontana. More than 110 employees work in the Fontana Water Company division. Besides Fontana, the company also serves portions of Rialto and Rancho Cucamonga, as well as adjacent unincorporated territory in San Bernardino County. Fontana Water Company?s service area covers approximately 52 square miles Fontana Water Company service map with 38 wells, 17 storage reservoirs, and 3.5 million feet of water distribution mains ranging up to 36-inches in diameter. Since the beginning, the company has grown along with development in its service areas, making it the company it is today, one of the largest investor-owned water utilities in California.