This is the first in a three-part series about the past, present and future of water in the Ojai Valley. The next installment will appear in the July 29 Wanting Water pages.
Kit Stolz, Ojai Valley News correspondent
Before the padres from Mexico arrived in the Ventura River valley in the 18th century and began to harvest water for their mission, and even 100 years later, when settlers from the eastern United States arrived and began to grow citrus in the Ojai Valley, water flowed plentifully on the land, and fish swam in abundance in the river and its tributaries.
“Ventura County was once regarded as the best watered county south of the Tehachapis, and it probably still is in comparison with other southern counties,” wrote one author in the Ventura County Historical Society Quarterly in the summer of 1960.