The Bard Water District is located within the Reservation Division of the Yuma Project, a Federal Reclamation Project, located in California, on the lower Colorado River. Work began on the distribution system of the Reservation Division in 1908.

Water for the project was originally diverted at Laguna Dam, which was the first Bureau of Reclamation Dam built on the Lower Colorado River during 1905-1909.

After the construction of the All American Canal in 1935 and the Imperial Diversion Dam 1941, irrigation water for the project was diverted from four turnouts along the All-American Canal, other turnouts were from the Yuma Main Canal which serves the Valley diversions located in Arizona.

The Reservation Division consists of two units, the Indian Unit and the Bard Unit. There are approximately 7,556 acres located within the Indian Unit, which are reservation lands owned by individual Indian allotees. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) administers the leasing of reservation lands for the allotees and their associated tribe, collects the assessed operation and maintenance (O&M) charges for water deliveries within the Indian Unit.

The Bard Unit is approximately 7,120 acres of patented land held in private ownership since 1910. Bard Irrigation District was first formed in 1927 to represent the owners of deeded (private) lands within the Division; it was renamed the Bard Water District in 1973.

In 1981 the Bard Water District assumed the responsibility for the O&M of the Division’s Bard Unit. In 1983 the O&M of the irrigation water delivery and drainage facilities in the Division’s Indian Unit was transferred from Reclamation to the Bard Water District. The Bard Water District continues to work closely with Reclamation on design and construction for making improvements and rehabilitating the existing water delivery and drainage systems.