The conserving and effective use of water resources have been a severe problem in the Western United States for centuries. For those settling in Kaysville, Davis County, Utah the problem was no different. Thus on February 28, 1899, Forty-five residents “….associated themselves together for the purpose of the better management, control, distribution and saving of the waters flowing in Haights Creek…..”
In order that this be accomplished the Haights Creek Irrigation Company (HCI) corporate charter gave them authority to “…own, acquire, make, build, construct, and maintain reservoirs, dams, ditches, pipe lines, water-works systems and canals….(to) distribute the waters belonging to said incorporators….”
The mission of HCI has not changed since the first incorporation in 1899 – that of providing water to the shareholders/owners of the company.
Early in its existence all water was delivered via a series of open ditches and canals governed by head gates which sent the water into open feeder ditches to the various users. Water turns were governed by the number of company shares owned with usage determined as a set beginning and ending day and time – 24/7 and don’t be late or long with your water turn or you would have a very unhappy neighbor. “Flood” irrigation was the only way land was irrigated.
Within 20 years, it became apparent that the “Haights Creek” water source was not capable of handling all of the water needs of the growing community. A quote from a letter written in 1918, by John H. Blood, then Secretary of the company “….we are virtually out of water after June 15…. (If) there is anything that could be done to benefit us…we will lend our assistance as far as practicable.” This pretty well summed up a dire situation. Thus the charter was amended and expanded to provide for the ability to buy (or sell) additional water rights as the Board of Directors deemed necessary. Today, 87% of the water used by company shareholders is purchased from an outside source.
The 1960’s marked a signicant change in direction for HCI. Foresight by the company’s then Board of Directors determined that flood irrigation was not the most effective or efficient method of providing water resources to an ever increasing number of shareholders. Therefore during this time, a major capital infrastructure loan was consummated with the United States Bureau of Reclamation to finance the needed infrastructure. A new reservoir was constructed (Green Street), the upper reservoir expanded and the 2nd North farm pond became an expanded water reservoir. Pipes were laid, valves installed and pressurized irrigation became a reality for the many of the shareholders.
Today 2013, the entire water delivery system is pressurized.