Potter Valley Irrigation District Logo

About the Potter Valley Irrigation District

PVID schematic map
PVID Schematic Map (click to enlarge)

The Potter Valley Irrigation Distict is an elected local water board and is governed by its bylaws and California state water code. The District is charged with the equitable and efficient distribution of the water carried in its canals and ditches. The sole purpose of the rules and regulations is to insure such equitable and efficient distribution which will be rigidly enforced in the interests of all present and future irrigators under this system, both individually and collectively.

The District endeavors to provide sufficient water for irrigation without waste. A customer wasting water through carelessness, defective ditches, or land poorly prepared for irrigation may be refused the use of water until the conditions are remedied to the satisfaction of the Board.

To schedule water deliveries, please contact the district office at 743-1109.

PVID West Canal


1870-1924 The families that settled Potter Valley depended on stock raising and dry farming (wheat, barley, and later watermelons) for their livelihood.

April 14, 1924: A petition was presented to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors by A.F. Whittaker for the organization of the Potter Valley Irrigation District pursuant to an election held April 1, 1924, in Potter Valley with 110 votes Yes and 3 votes No.

April 22, 1924: The first meeting of the Potter Valley Irrigation District was held in the Grange Hall at which the first Board of Directors, Secretary, Treasurer and Assessor Collector were elected.

Sept. 30, 1926: The PVID contracted with the Snow Mountain Water & Power Co. for water from May 1 to October 15 at a rate of 40 CFS.

May 16, 1928: A petition was presented to the PVID Board requesting a special election to bond the described territory up to the sum of $100,000 for 20 years.

June 12, 1928: The election to approve the bond showed 110 votes cast with 95 Yes and 15 No, a two thirds majority in favor.

Aug. 13, 1928: Five bids were presented to the Board for construction of the District System. James Currie Co. was given the contract to construct all canals, laterals, flumes, and gates, etc. Construction completed May 15, 1929.

May 23, 1929: The Board of Directors officially ordered the first ditch tender (superintendent) to commence irrigation. 2727 acre feet of water was sold and distributed during this first season of operation.

Feb. 5, 1936: The water contract with Snow Mountain Water & Power Co. was transferred to PG&E and rewritten to include an increase in rate of delivery to 50 CFS with a fifty-year renewal option.

July 1, 1952: The last $5000 of yearly retirement of the District Bond was paid and the District was able to purchase the property it now owns for $5000.

1960: The District purchased a tractor, backhoe and dump truck to help keep up with the canal and ditch maintenance.

1972: The PG&E Contract was renewed for 50 years and will be up for renewal in 2022.

1988: The District purchased an excavator to reshape the main canals and rebuild the canal berms to their original width.

1990-2001: With the increase in population in Potter Valley and Mendocino County there has been a steady increase in county income which has allowed the District to set up a reserve fund to allocate for specific maintenance and construction projects.