Alvah Hicks stands at the Snow Creek project which provided water for the Palm Springs Water Company.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY PALM SPRINGS HISTORICAL SOCIETY
More than a century ago a prescient and patient few understood that water was the most precious of all resources in the arid region known as the Coachella Valley.
Early settlers moved water from the springs located in Tahquitz Canyon and Snow Creek through ditches, guiding it to the areas where it was needed. The discovery of water beneath the sand in the Coachella Valley created a solution for the lack of rainfall that created the droughts that kept the desert perpetually unpopulated and uncultivated.
By 1907 there were approximately 400 wells in the Coachella Valley. In 1912 Alvah Hicks moved to Palm Springs. A master carpenter by trade, he acquired the Palm Springs Water Company in 1927.
The family-owned and operated water company was sold to Desert Water Agency in 1961 and DWA started providing water service to customers in Palm Springs and Cathedral City in 1968.
There is a multitude of ways to learn more about Palm Springs, which turned 83 in 2021. One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring the city’s history.
The Palm Springs Historical Society will share a story whose time and place correspond with today.
For more information, visit their location at 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive.