District Water Service


The Running Springs Water District (District) was formed in 1958 for the purpose of providing retail   water service to residents of Running Springs. Since that time the District has assumed the responsibility of providing Fire Protection, Wastewater, and Emergency Medical Services. Water service, however, remains a primary function of the District.

To establish the newly formed District, the voters of Running Springs passed a bond measure that provided the funds necessary to purchase and consolidate the area’s four private water companies; Running Springs Forest Water Company, Running Springs Mutual Water Company, Luring Pines Water Company and Rim of the World Water Company. The bond measure also allowed the District to correct the water system deficiencies existing at that time. The purpose of the water system purchase, consolidation, and corrective measures was to provide water system stability and consistent water service throughout the area.

Over the years, the District has used a number of different water sources. Local water sources have ranged from the discontinued practice of pumping and treating surface water from Rainbow Lake (Deep Creek), to the continuing practice of purchasing surplus water from the Arrowbear Park County Water District and pumping groundwater using a variety of horizontal and vertical wells.  

In the late 1960’s and the early 1970’s, the District experienced difficulty meeting its customers’ water consumption demands due to a growing population and increased land development in the area.  Additionally, use of several of the District’s water sources, including surface water and certain horizontal wells, had to be discontinued due to more restrictive State Health Department standards. The lack of sufficient local water supplies to meet the growing demands of the District and other San Bernardino Mountain communities prompted the need for imported water. This imported water need was satisfied by the Crestline Lake Arrowhead Water Agency (CLAWA).

In 1972, following completion of the State Water  Project (SWP) that brought water from Northern California into Southern California, and completion of CLAWA facilities that brought water from Lake  Silverwood (a component of the SWP), into portions of the San Bernardino Mountains, the District gained access to a reliable imported water supply. This imported CLAWA water supply continues to be an extremely important source of water for the District and its customers.

In 1984, as part of the District’s water development plan, the Running Springs Water District and the   Arrowbear Park County Water District entered into a joint venture to construct facilities that connect the two agencies’ water systems. The interconnection between the two systems provides the capability for the two Districts to transfer water as necessary to meet the needs of each community for both domestic water and fire flow demand. Currently, the interconnection is primarily used as a means for the Running Springs Water District to purchase surplus groundwater from Arrowbear Park County Water District at a cost less than CLAWA imported water.

Also in 1984, using a combination of local funds and a $1.5 million low interest rate loan obtained through the State Department of Water Resources (made possible by the Safe Drinking Water Bond Law of 1976), the District initiated a three year water system improvement and replacement program. Approximately eight miles of undersized and deteriorated water mains were replaced, a one million gallon water storage tank was constructed, and a radio frequency controlled water management telemetry system was installed.

Current Operation

The District’s Water Department currently operates approximately 45.5 miles of transmission and distribution mains ranging in size from 2” to 16”. These mains transport water for domestic use and fire protection purposes to the 3,065 plus water connections in the District’s service area.

The water distribution system is divided into nine separate pressure zones. The District has 13 water    storage reservoirs that range in capacity from 650 gallons to 1.0 million gallons, and have a combined water storage capacity of 2.73 million gallons. The system includes 14 booster stations that pump water to higher elevations. 

The primary local sources of water are vertical and horizontal wells located throughout Running Springs, and approximately 80 gallons per minute of vertical well groundwater purchased from the Arrowbear Park County Water District. The District also purchases imported water from CLAWA.

The District’s annual water production, which is a combination of pumped groundwater from District wells, water purchased from Arrowbear Park County Water District, and water purchased from CLAWA is approximately 200 million gallons per year. The percentage of water obtained from each source varies from year to year, based on the amount of local    groundwater available. Local groundwater is the preferred water source since it is less expensive than purchased water. District wells are located in fractured granite and their production is highly dependant on the amount of local precipitation, which is collected temporarily in the fractured granite zones. Therefore, during periods of significant precipitation, such as in 2005, local groundwater can provide up to 70% of the total District water supply. During periods of low precipitation, such as in 2002, local groundwater may only contribute 30% of the total District water supply.

Future Activities

Future activities of the District Water Department include: completing a Water Master Plan that will identify and prioritize improvements needed to the District’s water system, making further improvements to the water distribution system to improve fire flow within the District’s service area, and developing additional groundwater sources within the District. The District will also develop a water conservation program that makes sense for the Running Springs community.








Running Springs Water District • A Multi-Service, Independent Special District



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The Running Springs Water District, providing water and sewer service to the San Bernardino Mountain Community of Running Springs California.
A Multi Service, Independent Special Water District.  Fire Department, Water Department, Waste Water Department.