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This essay investigates the circumstances surrounding the creation of the Pomona Valley Protective Association (PVPA)—a collaborative effort of local mutual water companies whose benefits to its stakeholders were rare in two ways. First, the Association was built upon allegedly local breakthroughs in scientific understandings of hydrogeology that allowed the PVPA to make conceptual connections between confined aquifers and water from San Antonio Creek that supported the group’s legal claims over groundwater across the Pomona Valley. Second, the story of the PVPA reveals important connections between water rights and development in Southern California’s foothills—discoveries that are relevant to contemporary debates in environmental history, landscape architecture, and sustainable planning theory.

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