From Walnuts to Water
SouthWest Water Company’s roots date back to 1891. Through the purchase of East Whittier Water Company, Able Garnier drilled his first well in 1925 and SouthWest Water Company was born. This well was drilled on his 300-acre ranch in what is now the City of LaPuente, California, seeking water for his vegetables and walnut trees. He struck a source of groundwater so rich that soon he had more than enough to meet his needs. Other ranchers noticed that Able’s well continued to yield water abundantly while theirs were drying up. They appealed to Able for help and he readily agreed to share his water. When Able Garnier died in 1933, his son Camille took over the ranch and the water well. In 1946, Camille formed the San Jose Hills Water Company to begin selling water to neighboring farmers and ranchers on a formal business basis.
Post-World War II
As the post-War population boomed and more people settled in the San Gabriel Valley to make their homes, the company joined forces with other nearby water companies to serve more customers. In 1953, the assets of the water companies were consolidated to form Suburban Water Systems. In 1954, the company was incorporated as SouthWest Water Company, with Suburban remaining one of its subsidiaries. After Camille’s death in 1968, management of the company passed on to his son, Anton C. (Tony) Garnier, who led the company until his retirement in 2006.
SouthWest Water first expanded outside of California in 1969 with the purchase of a water utility just outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The company now owns more than 130 regulated water and wastewater systems in Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana, Oregon, South Carolina, and Texas.
SouthWest Water Today
Today the company serves people in seven states: Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana, Oregon, South Carolina, and Texas.
Good Stewardship for All
In 2007, SouthWest Water consolidated its many subsidiaries under a single name, reflecting the common purpose of providing good stewardship for our most precious natural resource: water.