A Brief History of the Association

The Yuma County Water Users’ Association was organized in 1903, about a year after the passage of the Reclamation Act in the United States Congress. The Association was organized as a private non-profit corporation the purpose of dealing with the United States Bureau of Reclamation in the development of the Yuma Project. In 1904, Congress authorized the Yuma Project. In 1905, the Bureau of Reclamation recorded water filings in the name of the United States, and shortly thereafter purchased three existing water filings and irrigation companies that had been serving water to the Valley Division since 1890.

Actual construction of the Laguna Dam and the distribution system started about 1905; and the first gravity diversion to the Valley Division of the Yuma Project was made through the siphon under the Colorado River in 1912, the same year Arizona became a state. This system replaced the existing pump diversion system of the old private irrigation companies. Water diversion from Laguna Dam was discontinued in 1941 when Imperial Dam became our diversion point from the Colorado River. The Association assumed through contract the care, operation, and maintenance of the works of the Valley Division, Yuma Project in 1951; such works to include irrigation and certain power transmission facilities in Arizona. The Siphon Drop Power Plant takeover, which included high voltage transmission lines and California irrigation works, was accomplished by a supplemental contract in 1962. Water now comes directly out of the All-American Canal in California through the Siphon Drop Power Plant into the Yuma Main Canal, then through the siphon under the Colorado River at Yuma and into our irrigation system in Arizona.

The Valley Division of the Yuma Project is located in the extreme southwest corner of Arizona. The area includes all of the Colorado River flood-plain lands, approximately 53,000 acres, between the City of Yuma and the International Boundary line with Mexico.


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