Otay’s Past, Present, and Future
On an overcast summer day in 1955, a plumber, a civil engineer, an attorney, a newspaper publisher, and two owners of large tracts of land gathered for lunch at Christie’s Restaurant in Chula Vista. They met to discuss how they could bring life-giving water to an arid region of southeastern San Diego County. By the end of the day they had a common vision, a few thousand dollars to spend, and the framework for what later became the Otay Water District.
When compared to some local water agencies, Otay Water District is a youngster. During a relatively short time span, the availability of water has helped transform the District’s 125.5 square mile service area from mostly scrub and cactus-covered back country into a wonderful blend of diverse environments shared by people and nature.
Today, the District serves the needs of its customers by purchasing imported water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the San Diego County Water Authority and the Helix Water District. Otay takes delivery of most of this water through several connections to large diameter pipelines owned and operated by the San Diego County Water Authority.
Otay of today is the result of the merger of two small water districts: Otay Municipal Water District established in 1956, and the smaller La Presa County Water District. La Presa formed in 1957 to provide water service to the communities of La Presa and south Spring Valley.
Since the two small water agencies shared a common service area, in 1962 they entered into a Joint Powers Agreement to make the best use of equipment, labor, management, and operations. The consolidation worked perfectly resulting in savings for water customers and the construction of a joint use facility.
With the success of the combined operations, the two boards of directors voted unanimously to officially dissolve La Presa in 1969, with Otay Water District taking control of all of La Presa’s assets, debts, and resources.