In 1959, AVEK received its charter as a regional water Agency from the State Legislature, an event that followed the 1953 formation of the Antelope Valley-Feather River Association. The concept was to import surface water supplies from the Feather River.
In 1962 AVEK’s Board of Directors signed a contract with the state to secure the delivery of water supplies intended to supplement the local groundwater. AVEK became the 3rd largest State Water Contractor with an entitlement of 144,844 acre-feet (the average household uses 1 acre-foot per year.
AVEK is a wholesale water provider that treats, delivers, and stores water, providing treated water to retail agencies and untreated water to agricultural customers within its 2400 square mile service area which include parts of Los Angeles, Kern and Ventura Counties. The Agency's current demand is approximately 50,000 AFY.
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.
AVEK Joins AVSWCA
In 1999, AVEK joined forces with Palmdale Water District and Littlerock Creek Irrigation District, to form the Antelope Valley State Water Contractor’s Association, a joint powers authority. Together, the agencies optimize the use of water resources, protect surface water and groundwater storage.
AVEK establishes a Financing Authority
In December 2016, AVEK and the California Municipal Finance Authority entered into a Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement, creating the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency Financing Authority. This was done for AVEK to take advantage of lower interest rates that could be achieved through establishing a separate government agency. Both AVEK and the Financing Authority have the same Board of Directors.