General Overview and History

The District is a water producer and retailer for the Casitas Springs, Live Oak Acres, Los Encinos, Oak View and Mira Monte area of the Ojai Valley and a portion of the City of Ojai. It serves a population of approximately 5,700 through 2,180 connections. The District provides water treatment, domestic water service and fire service mainly from groundwater sources.

Water service in the Ojai Valley developed in a fragmented way as different areas and neighborhoods developed. The Ventura River Water District was formed on August 14, 1956, and this new District knitted together systems developed by 6 small mutual water companies and water districts which served the Casitas Springs, Mira Monte, Live Oak Acres, Los Encinos and Oak View unincorporated areas. Subsequent annexation by the City of Ojai of some of this territory led to the District serving a small part of the City.

The Ventura River Water District is supplied by four water wells drilled 230 to 300 feet deep into the Upper Ventura River Sub-basin aquifer.  These groundwater wells are located near the Ventura River about 2,000 feet upstream of the Baldwin Road bridge.

The District has four active Casitas water turnouts to receive treated surface water from Lake Casitas.  Customers in Casitas Springs, and Rio Via and Monte Via in Oak View receive Lake Casitas Water at all times.  All other customers may receive Lake Casitas surface water if the District wells need repair or the aquifer goes dry due to drought.  A blend of surface and ground water is delivered on those occasions.

When full, the Upper Ventura River Aquifer holds about a two year supply of water.  If there is insufficient rain after the two years then the District must begin utilizing water from Lake Casitas. Lake Casitas is designed for a 21 year drought (the longest drought on record) and relies upon our District to maximize the use of ground water to make it through the design 21 year drought.



Sep. 27, 1941    Ventura County Water Works District #4 was formed in Casitas Springs.

Aug. 13, 1948    Skyline Mutual Water Company articles of incorporation prepared.


Aug. 19, 1948    SMWC articles filed with California Secretary of State.

Aug. 25, 1948    SMWC articles filed with County of Ventura, and by-law’s enacted at first meeting.

July        1949   Sparks Well was drilled.  See Annual Recordation File for details.

Sep. 15, 1949    Live Oaks Acres Mutual Water Company approved their sale to Ventura County Water Works  District #7.

Aug. 30, 1951    Special meeting authorized sale and conveyance of SMWC to Ventura River Mutual Water Company by transfer of equal shares of stock.

Dec. 17, 1951    Final dissolution meeting of Skyline Mutual Water Company.

Aug. 14, 1956    Ventura River County Water District was formed at first meeting and operated VRMWC under a lease agreement.

Apr. 21, 1959    VRCWD bought VRMWD for $150,000.  Numerous deeds from VRMWC and SMWC were accepted by VRCWD.

Oct. 16, 1962    Matilija Ranch drilled a well outside VRCWD Baldwin yard.

Oct. 15, 1963    Easement given to So. Cal. Edison to Matilija well by VRCWD.

Dec. 17, 1963    Garman resigned as District Counsel.

Dec. 21, 1963    Dixon engaged as new District Counsel.

Aug.       1964   1,026 active service connections.

Feb.       1968   VRCWD agreed to handle Ventura County Waterworks Districts #4 & #7 maintenance.

Mar. 12, 1969    Sparks well collapsed at 120’ to 150’.

Mar. 18, 1969    Midway Drilling gave $14,777 contract to drill well #3. It was put into service in November 1969.

July 20, 1971     New line completed across the Ventura River at Highway 150 bridge.

Mar. 21, 1972    Sheriff’s Honor Farm water connection installed.

Jun  20, 1972    Harold B. Parker appointed as Director of VRCWD.

Aug.       1976   City of San Buenaventura claims rights to 6,000 A. F. from the Ventura River.

Sep.       1976   10” line on Old Baldwin Road is completed.

Nov. 25, 1977    John R. Curtis voted Director of VRCWD replacing Peacock.

Jan. 1,    1979   Ventura County Water Works Districts #4 & #7 were conveyed to the Ventura River County Water District.

May 16, 1985    Lindsay F. Nielson appointed as District Counsel.

Dec. 6,  1985    Marvin L. Hanson appointed as Director of VRCWD.

May  6,  1986    Donald S. Colvin appointed as Director of VRCWD.

Nov. 10, 1987    Gene Daffern appointed as Director of VRCWD.

Dec. 20, 1989    Ed E. Lee appointed as Director of VRCWD replacing Colvin.

Sep. 14, 1994    Eddie P. Ramseyer appointed as Director of VRCWD replacing Daffern.

1997 Baldwin Tank #1 Constructed

1997 Alto tank replaced with two new 753,000 gallon tanks

Dec. 3, 2001 General Manager Chuck Curtis Retired.

Dec 12, 2001 Chuck Curtis appointed as Director replacing Parker.

2001   530,00 gallon Parker tank and booster station constructed.

Sep 11, 2002 Tom Jamison appointed as Director replacing Chuck Curtis.

January, 2006 Installed 12″ dia. Directional Drill Water Main from Valley Meadow Dr to Encino

May 8, 2013 Bruce W. Kuebler appointed as Director replacing Eddie P. Ramseyer