AVEK Water Agency

Water is pumped from the Delta (between Sacramento, Stockton and Concord) to begin its journey down the 444 mile-long California Aqueduct at the Harvey O. Banks plant, near the town of Tracy.

  • With a stop, first, at San Luis Reservoir at Los Banos, the Aqueduct water flows south to the Tehachapi Mountains and the A. D. Edmonston Pumping Plant, near Gorman.
  • (14) Eighty thousand horsepower pumping units raise the water nearly 2,000 feet in a single lift to enter 10 miles of tunnels and siphons which cross the mountain range.
  • After traversing the Tehachapis, the Aqueduct divides into East and West Branches.
  • The Antelope Valley is served by the East Branch.
  • State Water Project contracts call for facilities capable of delivering a total of 4.1 million acre-feet annually.

The DAWN Project

  • The bulk of the water imported by AVEK is treated and distributed to customers throughout its service area through Domestic-Agricultural Water Network (DAWN) Project facilities.
  • The Agency's entitlement also provides for delivery of untreated irrigation water from the Aqueduct and AVEK turnouts to Antelope Valley farmers.

The DAWN Project consists of:

  • More than 100 miles of water distribution pipeline;
    • Four Water Treatment Plants;
      • Four 8 million gallon water storage reservoirs near Mojave, and one 3 million gallon capacity reservoir at Vincent Hill Summit.


  • The DAWN Project was financed by a $71 million bond issue that was authorized by AVEK-area voters in 1974.
  • Proceeds from the first bond issue, Series A, amounted to $23 million for project start-up construction. Series A bonds have been completely repaid.
  • The second phase was initiated in 1976, when $19 million in Series B bonds were issued. Series B bonds have been complete repaid.
  • In 1977, the $18 million Series C bond issued heralded phase three of DAWN facilities construction. Series C bonds have been completely repaid.
  • The final Phase of DAWN Project construction began in August 1986, when expenditure of the remaining $11 million in bonds, Series D, was approved by the AVEK Board of Directors. Beginning with the 2000-2001 tax year, the Agency no longer collects a tax to pay off series D bonds.
  • Today, groundwater is found at depths ranging from 130 feet up to 350 feet.

A Quick AVEK History

  • Before AVEK, there was the Antelope Valley-Feather River Association. It was formed in 1953 to encourage importation of water from the Feather River in northern California.
  • AVEK was granted its charter as a regional water agency by the State Legislature in 1959.
  • In 1962, the AVEK Board of Directors signed a water supply contract with the state to assure delivery of imported water to supplement Antelope Valley groundwater supplies.
  • AVEK covers a land area of nearly 2,400 square miles. In addition to northern Los Angeles and eastern Kern Counties, the Agency's boundaries include a small portion of Ventura County.
  • AVEK has the third largest water entitlement of 29 SWP water agencies in California. Only the Metropolitan Water District and the Kern County Water Agency are larger.
  • When State Water Project facilities are finally completely built, the contract between the Department of Water Resources and AVEK will allow the water agency to take its annual maximum entitlement of 144,844 acre feet of imported water.

Importing Water Through State Water Project Facilities

  • Initial funds for construction of SWP facilities were obtained through a $1.75 billion bond issue that was ratified by California voters in 1960.
  • Twenty-two State Water Project (SWP) dams and reservoirs are used to capture and store run-off from northern California mountains and valleys.
  • The SWP begins on the Feather River, where runoff is stored behind Oroville Dam in Butte County. The water then flows down natural channels to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta south of Stockton.
  • Oroville Dam is the largest of the SWP's storage reservoirs. It has a storage capacity of 3.5 million acre-feet of water.



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