The El Paso Water Company was formed in the 1950s to serve the residents of Derby. Using water from wells located west of the Arkansas River, the water company first obtained official water rights in 1954. Additional water rights were acquired over time, bringing the total to 700,000 million gallons annually.
Originally, the El Paso Water Company was owned by a group of stockholders who invested their own money into the business. The money was used to construct the infrastructure needed to distribute water to homes and businesses. Each stockholder received annual dividends from the revenues generated through the sale of water to Derby customers.
In 1999, the El Paso Water Company was purchased by the City of Derby. The city purchased all shares of stock, and the Derby City Council became the water company’s board of directors. This move was important to ensure the City's long-term ability to grow. Also, the city's ownership ensures that revenues from water sales would be required only to cover expenses, and dividends would be re-invested in needed infrastructure.
Currently, the El Paso Water Company still operates as an independent company because of IRS regulations. The company contracts with the City of Derby for daily operations.