History

The North Coast County Water District has been providing water to the residents of the City of Pacifica since 1944. The commitment expressed in our slogan: "Safe Drinking Water is our Business" has been maintained for more than 60 years due to the dedication and commitment of a series of qualified directors and staff.

 

Since its first settlers arrived, the Coastside had only ground water wells and a few neighborhood utilities, cooperatives or private businesses that delivered well water. After many water shortages, dry hours and days, and uncertain purity of product, "the Coastside" community, led by the Salada Beach/Sharp Park area, decided to move towards acquiring water from the Hetch Hetchy, a source that was serving San Francisco so well. Opposition leaders said Hetch Hetchy would "bankrupt the Coastside" and when the surge of water from the mountains arrived it might "bust our pipes" and be far too expensive.

 

An election on August 8, 1944 really created the NCCWD, and set in motion the legal steps necessary for piping in water that the City of San Francisco was bringing from the High Sierra - Hetch Hetchy water. The local paper in 1944, "The Breakers", headlined the election results: "Hetch Hetchy Wins, 315 to 42" and reported later that "never in the history of this community were its citizens more united in thought and purpose as on the subject of water." Today the Hetch Hetchy system delivers 100% of the water to the residents of Pacifica.

 

Through the years the District has dealt with many obstacles:

 

  • A bitter recall election out of which grew policies that dealt with the postwar housing boom and the controversies that occurred. At one point after the new Board took over, sheriff's deputies were summoned to deal with concerns that an angry debate in a small hall might explode further.
  • The effort to merge the NCCWD with the City of Pacifica (13 years younger but comprised of the same residents and taxpayers). The merger proposal went to an election but voters decided against the mayor's suggestion that one government could live cheaper and more happily than two.

 

The District is proud of the fact that it helped create San Pedro Valley Park. In the 1960's it leased over 500 acres to the County of San Mateo - $1 for 99 years!