Our company began with an idea to consolidate a group of privately-held water companies.   American States Public Service Company was formed on April 16, 1928 when a public utility engineer named John C.  Rath first arrived in Southern California.  His goal was to implement a water delivery system to the many Southern California communities that were quickly developing among the vast acres of orange, lemon and other citrus groves and would serve both residential and agricultural needs. 

The most significant purchase was the Los Angeles Water Service Company, which set the stage for a rapid expansion of 33 new acquisitions over the next year and by 1929, the company became “American States Water Service Company of California.”  With water and electricity operations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, we proudly serviced more than 43,000 customers in Southern California.


Because of our large presence in the region, when C.P. Harnish became the company president in 1936 he changed the name to “Southern California Water Company.”  The new name was ideal, as our relationship with the rapidly growing region increased and Harnish’s encyclopedic knowledge helped maintain continuity and customer service.  By 1950, more than 97,000 customers were proudly serviced by our company and Southern California Water Company continued to play a critical role in the region’s growth.

In the meantime, our growth began to move north, through the Santa Inez Valley and the Central Coast region to the East Bay and ultimately east into the Sacramento Valley.  In order to efficiently manage the expansion and provide effective customer service, two new divisions were created – California Cities, and Arden-Cordova Water Service.  In 2005, the three California divisions – Southern California Water Company, Arden-Cordova Water Service and California Cities Water Company – were collectively renamed Golden State Water Company.

Golden State Water Company is a public utility in California and is a wholly owned subsidiary of American States Water Company.  The company is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Public Health and the California Public Utilities Commission. Golden State values customer input and appreciates the influence customers and all stakeholders have in the ratemaking and regulatory process.