The Santa Fe Irrigation District (SFID) is situated in the northern San Diego County area and includes coastal and inland communities. SFID was originally formed by landowners under the California Irrigation District Act to provide water service to the area. Residents within the proposed SFID boundaries voted on and approved the creation of the Santa Fe Irrigation District in January of 1923. Initially, SFID supplied water to primarily meet agricultural irrigation needs from the Lake Hodges Dam, its only source of water at the time. As the area developed, the District matured to providing potable water for a predominantly residential community.
District Offices 1926


Today, the District serves approximately 20,000 customers on 10,300 acres of land in three communities: Rancho Santa Fe, Fairbanks Ranch and the City of Solana Beach. Characterized by low-density urban development, the service area includes a large number of estates covering more than three acres. Rancho Santa Fe is recognized as having one of the highest per capita incomes in the United States and provides its residents with a secluded, rural environment with house trails throughout the community. The City of Solana Beach is a coastal community known for its design district on Cedros Avenue.

Lake Hodges Dam

In 1918, the Lake Hodges Dam was constructed by the San Dieguito Mutual Water Company/Santa Fe Land Improvement Company. The construction of the dam was financed by the Santa Fe Railroad.

The lake was named after William Hodges, then vice president of the railroad company. A flume was constructed in 1918 to convey water from Lake Hodges to the San Dieguito Reservoir. This flume was 4 miles long and was originally called the Carroll Conduit, but later became known as the Hodges Flume. The City of San Diego purchased the Lake Hodges and the Lake Hodges Dam in 1925 and still owns them today.
Lake Hodges Dam

Colorado River

In 1948, SFID became a member of the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), the regional wholesale water supplier, and gained access to imported water supplies from Northern California and the Colorado River. Prior to becoming a member of the SDCWA, the District provided water to its customers solely from Lake Hodges. The photo was taken November of 1948 with the first Colorado River water spilling into Lake Hodges. This occasion marked the completion of a water line from the San Vicente Reservoir, where the first Colorado River barrel empties into the county water system. This picture includes previous members of the Santa Fe Irrigation District, including (with camera) Former Board Director R.M. Clotfelder, Former General Manager D.M. Bakewell, Former Director William A. Smart, Former Director George Dose, and Former Director Harry Porter.
Former members of SFID at Colorado River
The Lake Hodges Dam Flume remained in service until 2003, as the only means of delivering water from Lake Hodges to SFID. In August 2003, a new 36-inch transmission pipeline was placed in service and use of the 75 year-old flume ceased. A new Rancho Cielo Raw Water Pump Station located on Del Dios Highway was also placed into service at that time providing an alternative means of moving water from Lake Hodges directly to the R.E. Badger Filtration Plant.

The Santa Fe Irrigation District has 100% ownership of over 150 miles of pipelines, ranging from 8-inch to 36-inch diameter in size, as well as a six-million-gallon treated water reservoir in the City of Solana Beach called Larrick Reservoir. The reservoir was constructed in 1965 and named after H. G. Larrick, Senior, a Board Member of the Santa Fe Irrigation District from 1941 to 1957.

R.E. Badger Filtration Plant

In addition to owning and operating a water distribution system, SFID is joint owner (along with the San Dieguito Water District) of the R.E. Badger Filtration Plant, San Dieguito Reservoir, a hydroelectric power plant, raw water pumping stations and nearly 8 miles of transmission pipelines up to 54 inch diameter.

During the construction of the Lake Hodges Dam, the San Dieguito Reservoir was also constructed in 1918. This terminal storage reservoir has the capacity to hold 550 acre feet of raw water. In 1967 the San Dieguito Reservoir Pump Station was constructed to pump water from the reservoir to the R.E. Badger Filtration Plant.
R.E. Badger Filtration Plant
Concurrent with the Pump Station, construction on the R.E. Badger Filtration Plant started in 1967 and was completed in 1970. The Plant treats local runoff from the San Dieguito Reservoir, Lake Hodges and imported raw water from SDCWA. Named after the President of the Board of Directors in 1970, the R.E. Badger Filtration Plant has capacity to treat up to 40 million gallons a day, and during a typical year, treats over 7 billion gallons of water.

The Santa Fe Irrigation District has ownership of 55% of the R.E. Badger Filtration Plant and manages the treatment and conveyance facilities for both SFID and the San Dieguito Water District, who has 45% ownership.
Pump Station in 1970
Today, SFID serves approximately 19,000 customers and has a diverse supply of water with 60% imported water, 35% local water and 5% recycled water.

The Mission of the Santa Fe irrigation District is to efficiently provide its customers with safe and reliable water.

The Board of Directors meetings are held at 8:30 a.m., every third Thursday of the month at the District offices.

The Santa Fe Irrigation District is governed by a five-member Board of Directors that is elected for four-year terms on a non-partisan basis by division. Each Director represents a geographical division of the service area.
SFID Satellite View