The City of Garden Grove established a municipal water department in 1958 and soon became the primary water retailer within City boundaries. It operated with three sub-systems, the "District System", the "Dyke System", and the "City-Owned System". The three systems combined served 29,000 customers. The "District System" and its 6,600 accounts were acquired from the City of Orange in 1960. The "City-Owned System" held 10,400 accounts and facilities that were donated by sub-dividers. The "Dyke System" was the largest of the three with 12,050 service connections. The City of Garden Grove bought the Dyke Water Company in 1965 in an effort to consolidate the City's water systems and provide a safe and reliable water supply.

Today the Water Division is part of the Public Works Department and is responsible for maintaining wells, reservoirs, and imported water connections. It also provides ongoing maintenance and repair to the water delivery system.

With a population of 172,800, water demand in Garden Grove is 9.4 billion gallons per year. The City can pump 46,600 gallons of water per minute from its 11 pumping stations. That water is delivered through 433 miles of main lines. Multi-use reservoirs hold 53 million gallons, which is enough emergency storage for two days. Four import water connections provide the City an additional 22,500 gallons per minute.

Garden Grove gets about two-thirds of its water from wells and groundwater storage and the remaining third is imported by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Imported water comes to Orange County from two sources; the Colorado River Aqueduct and the State Water Project in Northern California. These sources are helpful, but they are not enough. Recent drought conditions and environmental rulings are limiting the amount of water we get from the State Water Project. The need to conserve water is increasingly important during wet years as well as dry ones.

One of the most important jobs of the Water Division is to make sure the water is as safe and healthy as possible. That requires sticking to the highest water quality standards and comprehensive testing and monitoring based on those standards. In Garden Grove, water quality control gets the highest attention.