About the Company
Who We Are
California Domestic Water Company (Cal Domestic), based in Whittier, California, is a not-for-profit mutual water company that provides potable water for about 222,000 people in portions of the Cities of Whittier and La Mirada through Suburban Water Systems, City of La Habra, and City of Brea.
Suburban Water Systems, the City of La Habra, and the City of Brea represent the three major shareholders of Cal Domestic. Cal Domestic owns water rights that date back to the 1850s from the San Gabriel River Watershed, contributing to the development of communities along the south side of the Puente Hills that traverse today’s East Los Angeles County and North Orange County. Cal Domestic’s water rights pre-date today’s county boundaries.
Mutual Water Company FAQs
131 Years of Continual Service
Cal Domestic is proud to be a leader in shaping the communities of the South Puente Hills along the Whittier Boulevard corridor by providing a reliable, affordable, and safe drinking water supply.
Founded in 1889…
It all started in 1889 when Simon J. Murphy founded the East Whittier Land and Water Company and built a pumphouse that served the emerging communities we know today as Whittier, La Habra, and Brea. The pumphouse was abandoned in the early 1900s, but Cal Domestic still maintains and uses Mr. Murphy’s easements for the wooden flumes and the ditches that conveyed water to oil fields and farms in and around the area’s communities.
1902: California Domestic Water Company Incorporates
Cal Domestic and La Habra Water Company were incorporated in 1902 when East Whittier Land and Water Company sold its water rights to George Chaffey. Chaffey also served as manager and later as a member of the Board of Directors for both companies. Cal Domestic and La Habra Water Company served local communities and shared management and facilities to provide irrigation water to area farms.
Cal Domestic acquired more land, wells, equipment, flumes, ditches, and rights-of-way from its predecessor, the East Whittier Land and Water Company, and entered a phase of explosive expansion, acquiring additional land and rights-of-way and developing new infrastructure.
1934: Offices Move to Whittier from Los Angeles
Cal Domestic’s and La Habra Water Company’s offices were originally located in Los Angeles until 1907, when they relocated to Greenleaf Avenue in Whittier. After several moves, the offices settled in 1934 at their current site on Whittier Boulevard, where they have remained ever since.
1950s: Bye-Bye Zanjero, Hello Meters and Houses
In the old days, water was distributed and accounted for by the zanjero. This is Spanish for “the keeper of the ditches,” who controlled and measured the amount of water coming over the wooden flume.
Also, during the 1950s, the ranches of La Habra and East Whittier and the oilfields in Whittier, La Habra, and Brea were being divided into suburban homesites. This led Cal-Domestic to install its first meters, thus beginning a new phase in its history. Land developers began transferring their domestic water service from Cal Domestic to the local municipal and public utilities. Throughout this transition, Cal Domestic continued to supply water to Whittier, La Habra, and Brea.
1960s: Cadway Brings New Financial Strengths
In 1964, Cadway, Inc. was formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of Cal Domestic to acquire, hold, develop, exchange, and sell the Company’s properties. Cadway provides numerous tax and other financial benefits to Cal Domestic and its shareholders.
Today: Value, Service, State-of the-Art Facilities
Today, Cal Domestic operates a sophisticated water system with high-efficiency pumping plants, advanced water treatment facilities, and a highly trained and professional staff. Increasingly, Cal Domestic serves as a wholesale water purveyor, yet remains dedicated to quality and value for one of our most precious natural resources: WATER.