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Vista Irrigation District Celebrates a Century of Service and Stewardship

By   /  September 11, 2023  /  No Comments


TR Robertson –

Last Saturday, Vista Irrigation District employees and hundreds of visitors took part and viewed a festive display of a variety of demonstrations concerning how Vista residents receive their water, what it takes to provide water services and the equipment used to provide water for residents and businesses in Vista. All of this, as well as a ceremony and cake-cutting, was part of the celebration for 100 years of quality service the VID has provided the City of Vista. The scene of the festivities was the VID Headquarters at 1391 Engineer Street.

In 1923, the building of the Henshaw Dam, by the San Diego County Water Company, made it possible for the City of Vista to have a reliable water source for the citizens and the acres of citrus and avocado groves in the area. On August 28, 1923, 100% of the eligible voters in the area voted, 104-4, to establish the Vista Irrigation District. The first water would arrive, from Lake Henshaw, on February 27th, 1926. By 1945, Vista would soon be referred to as the “Avocado Capital of the World” and at one time had six avocado packing houses. In 1946, VID purchased Lake Henshaw and the 43,000-acre Warner Ranch. VID would join the San Diego County Water Authority and began receiving imported water in 1954. Today, VID serves 29,000 accounts and a population of roughly 134,000 people. Residential use comprised 71% of the water use; Industrial and commercial accounts for 11%; Landscape irrigation make-up 12%; Agriculture use is 4% and Governmental use is 2%. VID moved into their new location on Engineer Street in 2001.

The Saturday celebration began with visitors receiving a warm welcome at the entrance to the VID Headquarters. Walking through the entrance a variety of pamphlets were available about the VID, ways to be Water Wise and a handout on a Homeowners Landscape Workshop that will be available free of charge on Saturday, November 4th (register at https://www.evenbrite.com/e/646649083817 ).

Visitors were then directed to a large parking area next to VID where a variety of tents were set-up, each with a different theme, displays and activities. There was a Children’s Activity table where kids could color, make bookmarks and pick-up a Scavenger sheet. Next to this was a Water Conservation Info table and a prize wheel to spin. Across from these tables were a Water Quality Info table, a Water Pressure Info table, and a Meter Info table. The display at the meter Info table showed how water was hooked into main pipes to run to your home. Against the back fence, large construction equipment was on display, equipment that is used for digging, removal of dirt and installation of the pipes necessary to connect water to homes and businesses and to replace or repair older infrastructure in the area. All of the tables had VID employees ready, willing and able to demonstrate and answer any questions visitors had. VID employees were also handing out lunch boxes from Chick-fil-A.

Shortly after the opening, Jo MacKenzie, Div. 5 & VID Board President, welcomed those in attendance, pointed out dignitaries in attendance and introduced Vista Mayor John Franklin who read a proclamation from the City Council in recognition of the 100 years of service VID has provided. Proclamations were also provided from Congressman Mike Levin’s Office and Assembly Member Laurie Davies Office. Vista City Council Member Dan O’Donnell and San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones also congratulated VID on their service to the community and surrounding areas. Additional announcements and a cake cutting honoring the 100 years of service took place around 11:30 am.

The 100 Year Celebration was an entertaining and fun way to spend several Saturday hours and also served as an educational opportunity for those in attendance on how the district provides great service to the city. A reminder to all attending and a good reminder to everyone in the city and surrounding areas is to always be Water Wise and not Wasteful.


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