Special District

Contra Costa Water District is a special district.

What is a special district and what do they do?

Special districts are local government agencies that provide essential services to millions of Californians. Special districts are formed and governed by local residents to establish or enhance essential services and infrastructure in their communities. Each special district focuses on providing specific types of services. It is this focused service that allows for innovation and long-term planning to meet the community’s needs.

Special districts are either enterprise districts that bill customers directly for service (such as water and sewer districts) or non-enterprise districts that are funded with voter-approved taxes or assessments (such as recreation and fire districts). This practical approach is the most common form of government in California.

For more information, please refer to the California Special Districts Association.


Throughout the state, special districts perform more than 50 types of cost-effective community services efficiently and expertly. Special districts have a legislative body, usually a Board of Directors, whose members are either elected by the people they serve or appointed to fixed terms. Our Directors are elected to 4-year terms.

In Contra Costa County, there are 43 special districts with single well-defined focuses to meet specific needs or solve particular problems. Some of the services they provide include drinking or irrigation water, mass transit, health care, fire protection, vector control and wastewater collection treatment and reuse. Special districts are government service at their best.

Public Meetings

Special districts hold regularly scheduled public meetings where citizens are encouraged to voice their concerns, ask questions and provide feedback on the services they've received. These meetings enable a district's leadership to stay abreast of community needs, evaluate public perception of district performance and ensure that current and future needs are met.

Independent Special District Facts

  • Sanctioned by the State of California Government Codes
  • The most economical means of providing public service
  •  Formed by local residents to provide local services
  •  Independent, self-governed agencies
  •  Governed by a board of directors
  •  Responsible directly to the people