When the Highland Canal was first chartered, the water from the canal was designated to run with the land.
The simplified version is that if you own property within the boundaries served by the Highline Canal you have a right to consume the water. The caveat being that one must get the water from the canal to your property, as there was no determination of how to get the water from the canal to your property.
Highland Park Lateral Ditch was first incorporated in February 1952 as a distribution system of water from the Highline canal. The original owners of the company was 13, all of whom were farmers raising crops in the area shown in the maps found in the Area Maps tab.
As time moved on towards today the land was sold off to residential development and the property you now own is just a small plot of that original land. This created a challenge as HPLDDC to convert the water distribution from 13 owners to over 1100 owners which of course is a completely different operational model for HPLDCC than the original open ditch system. The old system required a new model to distribute water to our customers (a closed underground system gravity flow system) which is the model of distribution we currently utilize.
For the sake of our customers and your pocketbook HPLDDC has always utilized the drop point system which reads that we shall bring water to a point of distribution (generally in the case of subdivisions) a single central drop point and from there the water is further distributed to properties via whatever means the developer implemented within the area in which you are part of. This two layer system is the most logical way to accomplish the goal of distribution now as it was in 1952. There are many different ways to accomplish final distribution, one which we only have a small amount of input to accomplish the goal of the developer. Systems run from single homeowners drawing water via a single pump to water holding cisterns with much larger pumps that pressurize the water to distribute the water to many properties. There are Water Users Associations for some subdivisions and Homeowners Associations in others as well as approximately 500 held single owned properties that fall under neither of the above WUA or HOA's.
Our goal of delivering water is only as good as the people who take on this third layer of distribution which HPLDDC has no control over. That falls to the system operators within your subdivision and in 90% of the systems where a single owner, a WUA or HOA operates the water flows without a single thought by the homeowner other than to charge the system by turning on a valve or a pump. With this model we rarely if ever hear from anyone about the availability of water presently, it is just not an issue.
The remaining 10% fall into a place where they have purchased property in a subdivision that has no leadership, lacks qualified personnel to operate and maintain a functioning system and in essence believes that there is no acceptable way to support and maintain the system in place for that area. We have absolutely no control over how the owners in an area choose to use or ignore the facts given under our bylaws, except that once you purchase land in this area you are a partial owner of the HPLDDC water distribution system.
We have ongoing discussions from singular properties in these areas claiming that because they choose not to use the water they are exempt from paying for the distribution of the water. This is nothing further from the truth. HPLDDC is charged with drop point distribution (at a single delivery point to your area) and when the paperwork for your subdivision was submitted to land use officials they included agreements to put in place a separate and functional water distribution system as part of the plat agreements. In some cases we were consulted about how the interior systems were implemented, in others we asked for specific systems to be utilized for the area and yet in others we were only informed that a system would be implemented in some fashion. The single largest benefit of our input has been to restrict the use of open storage to prevent evaporation loss and prevent the ability of insects (mosquitos in particular) from propagating. By all accounts, we have down our level best to provide the best information for functioning systems not only to benefit you, the homeowner, but also to help preserve one of our most precious commodities, the water we deliver.
The bottom line of all of this is as follows: