Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Santa Margarita Water District Records
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Custodial History
  • Processing History
  • Biography
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Bibliography

  • Contributing Institution: Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
    Title: Santa Margarita Water District records
    Creator: Santa Margarita Water District (Calif.)
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.R.083
    Physical Description: 5 Linear Feet (5 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1970-1982
    Date (bulk): 1978-1981
    Abstract: Established in 1964, the Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD), serves Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Las Flores, Ladera Ranch, Talega, and Rancho Mission Viejo in Orange County, California. The collection documents SMWD's research and services. It contains analyses and reports on wastewater disposal, water reclamation, water importation, facility regulations, and environmental impacts related to SMWD projects. It also includes correspondence, proposals, agreements, and minutes of board of directors' meetings.
    Language of Material: English .


    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Santa Margarita Water District records. MS-R083. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Acquisition Information

    Transferred to Special Collections and Archives from UCI Libraries Government Information Center in 2001.

    Custodial History

    Evidence within the collection indicates these materials were received and collected by Robert Monroe, a board director of the SMWD.

    Processing History

    Processed by Cyndi Shein, 2007.


    The Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD), Orange County's second largest water district, is located in southern Orange County, California. It was formed in 1964, prior to the construction of the first residential neighborhood in the area, when the region was dominated by the 52,000-acre Rancho Mission Viejo. As of 2007, it serves the communities of Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Las Flores, Ladera Ranch, Talega, and the remaining 23,000-acres of Rancho Mission Viejo. The SMWD is governed by a five-member board of directors that is elected by residents within the district's boundaries.

    Biographical/Historical note


    1964 SMWD established by a group of local landowners to supply water to their ranches.
    1965 First SMWD Board of Directors meeting held.
    1970 Began strategic planning to supply water to future communities scheduled to be built within the district.
    1974 Established more than 800 connections, including to the newly constructed communities of Mission Viejo and Coto de Caza.
    1981 Constructed the O'Neill Reservoir, the district's largest water storage facility.
    1985 Began construction on Chiquita Water Reclamation Plant to provide sewage treatment for the neighborhoods of Coto de Caza, Rancho Santa Margarita, and part of the Trabuco Canyon Water District.
    1990 Spearheaded construction of the South County Pipeline from Lake Forest to San Clemente.
    1993 Completed South County Pipeline, the district's primary source of water.
    2001 Expanded Chiquita Water Reclamation Plant.
    2005 Began construction on two subterranean reservoirs intended to serve Ladera Ranch.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    The collection comprises materials documenting Santa Margarita Water District's (SMWD) research and activities in the development and delivery of the its water service. It includes meeting booklets documenting monthly SMWD Board of Directors' meetings, including agendas, minutes, and reports from the treasurer, general manager, engineers, and legal counsel. The collection also includes analyses and reports on wastewater disposal, water reclamation, water importation, facility regulations, and environmental impacts related to SMWD projects. It also includes some related correspondence, proposals, and agreements.

    Collection Arrangement

    This collection is arranged in three series.
    • Series 1. Board of directors meeting materials, 1978-1982. 2.8 linear feet
    • Series 2. Project proposals, plans, and reports, 1970-1981. 2 linear feet
    • Series 3. Agreements and correspondence, 1977-1981. 0.2 linear feet
    Santa Margarita Water District. "40 Years of Service and Excellence." http://www.smwd.com/ (accessed September 13, 2007).Rancho Mission Viejo. "A Legacy of Ranching." Rancho Mission Viejo. http://www.ranchomissionviejo.com/history/history.php#1960 (accessed September 21, 2007).

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Environmental impact statements -- California -- Orange County -- 20th century.
    Water districts -- California -- Orange County -- History -- Sources.
    Sewage disposal -- California -- Orange County -- History -- Sources
    Water supply -- California -- Orange County -- History -- Sources
    Santa Margarita Water District (Calif.) -- Archives