An Illustrated History of Southern California

The Riverside Water Company

The 14,000 acres of irrigable land embraced in the Riverside colony are under the system of ditches constructed and owned by this water company. The owner of each acre of land entitled to water from this company’s system has two shares of the company’s stock attached to the land, and transferable only with that land, so that the company is composed entirely of users of water.

There are about thirty miles of main canals, and nearly eighty miles of laterals. The amount of water now running in the canals is about 3,500 inches. On the upper canal, some three miles above Riverside, there is a drop of about forty feet, giving waterpower equal to about 300-horsepower, which is utilized by the Electric Light Company. The domestic system is separate in its working from the irrigating system, while it is owned and managed by the same company. The water is piped from the wells in a seventeen-inch main, and delivered under a pressure of 170 feet. The carrying capacity of the pipe is 225 inches, or about 3,200,000 gallons per diem. The main is laid below the town for over seven miles down the valley, thus bringing pure artesian water to the doors of most of the citizens, from the source of supply, which is fifteen artesian wells, eight miles above the town. The water is remarkably pure and soft. The domestic water system cost about $250,000, and the irrigating system over $600,000. The officers of this company are: Joseph Jarvis, M. D., President; J. Frost, Vice-President; G. O. Newman, Engineer; D. Corvell, Secretary.

Source: An Illustrated History of Southern California: embracing the counties of San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange, and the peninsula of lower California.

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