FAQ: Morongo Basin Pipeline



 About the Morongo Basin Pipeline…






What is the Morongo Basin Pipeline?


A:  The Morongo Basin Pipeline is a 71-mile underground pipeline built by the Mojave Water Agency (MWA).  It brings water from the California Aqueduct in Hesperia to the Morongo Basin.  In the settling ponds the water seeps into the ground to supplement the area’s natural water supply.  Joining the MWA in the mid – 1990s to make the pipeline a reality were the HDWD, the Joshua Basin Water District, the Bighorn-Desert View Agency and San Bernardino County Service Area 70.  Pipeline turnouts exist to serve JBWD, BDVWA, HDWD, and CSA 70.




Why is it needed?


A:  The area served by the Morongo Basin Pipeline, which is part of the Mojave Desert, is experiencing overdraft.  That is, more groundwater is used each year than is replaced by nature through rain and snowmelt.  Area residents recognized this problem decades ago, and so they voted in 1965 to annex their area to the MWA.



Who benefits from it?


A:  Nearly 60,000 people living in the approximately 450 square miles of Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, Landers and Johnson Valley are benefiting from the pipeline.  Before the pipeline started operating, water shortages had begun to occur, and it was estimated that the area’s water supply could dry up within 15 years.  This overdraft situation was a significant threat to quality of life, property values and future development. 




Who is paying for it?


A:  The area’s residents essentially taxed themselves to build the pipeline.  The bond measure passed by nearly 80 percent in June 1990.  About 60 percent of the pipeline’s cost is covered by charges on the yearly property tax bill as payments to the IDM (Improvement District M) of the MWA.  The other 40 percent is paid for by charges to the water districts, paid by rate payers.  Only residents within the boundaries of the IDM pay the IDM property tax and the pipeline water rate charges. 




How can I learn more about the Morongo Basin Pipeline?


A:  The Mojave Water Agency’s Pubic Information Department is happy to help any member of the public to learn more about the Morongo Basin Pipeline.  For details, call (760) 240-9201 or

(800) 254-4242 during regular business hours.