Pasadena Water

Water has played a central role in the development of Pasadena and the West San Gabriel Valley.  Here are some articles that document the key aspects of the local quest for water and its impact on Southern California. Click on the title link for the full story.

Flowing Waters, Fruitful Valley

Here is a brief history of water development in the Arroyo Seco Watershed.

Founding of the Municipal Water Department

This lecture recounts the long arduous campaign for the establishment of the Pasadena Water Department between 1898 and 1912.


Pasadena played a pivotal role in the formation of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.  This article tells that story and highlights Caltech's special contribution.

Wadsworth Fitting Name for Reservoir

This article appeared in the Pasadena Star News on January 6, 2000. That month the Board of the MWD approved a motion to name the reservoir Diamond Valley Lake and to honor Hiram Wadsworth and the original founders of MWD by naming the related pumping facility at Diamond Valley Lake the Hiram Wadsworth Pumping Plant.

Flowing Waters - An Illustrated History of Local Water

This illustrated presentation, based on an exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of History, presents an overview of the history of water development in Pasadena and the west San Gabriel Valley, including the science and personalities shaping it.

Pasadena Water - The Essential Ingredient

This beautifully-illustrated booklet presents the history of the Pasadena Water Department for its centennial celebrations in November and December, 2012.

One Hundred Years of Pasadena Water

This documentary was produced by Sonya Johnson and students from Art Center College of Design for the Pasadena Water & Power Department to commemorate one hundred years of municipal water.