A Brief History

Who We Are

Modern Electric Water Company (Modern) is a customer-owned, not-for-profit corporation, engaged in providing high-quality, economical electric and water utility services for the benefit of residents and businesses in the Spokane Valley since 1905

Decisions are made by local leaders regarding the water and electric systems that are in the best interest of the customers

Modern is governed by a locally elected 5-member Board of Directors, which is responsible for determining policy and serves as an advisory panel to the General Manager on all utility matters

The General Manager is responsible for the day-to-day administration and operation of the utility

Modern purchases 100% of the power it sells from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA)

electricity customers
water customers

Modern caters its services to residential, commercial, and light industrial customers

  • 1905: Modern Electric Water Company was founded by D.K. McDonald, R.A. Hutchinson, and A.C. Jamison
  • The company’s primary purpose was to provide irrigation water to approximately 3,000 acres of land sold by Modern Irrigation and Land Company
  • Modern Irrigation and Land Company, also owned by McDonald, Hutchinson, and Jamison, granted 1 share of stock in Modern for each 1 acre of land purchased
  • Each share of stock holds no monetary value and is used to represent a vote in the Board of Directors’ election
  • As the complexion of the Spokane Valley changed from rural to urban, the company changed its focus from irrigation provider to power and water supplier for residential and commercial needs

Modern’s First Headquarters Circa 1908

Modern Electric Water Company’s Water Towers Circa 1920

  • The 1905 Agreement between the Company and the landowners within its corporate boundary is the foundation on which Modern Electric Water Company operates
  • The Agreement details the rights and privileges afforded to each landowner in regard to water and electric service as well as the obligations of each party in the Agreement
  • It details the provisions of water and electric services and guarantees payment of all incurred debts through property lien rights
  • The Agreement was recorded in the Office of the Auditor of Spokane County, November 6, 1905, in Book E, Page 267 of Contracts.
  • This ensures strong Company fiscal health and longevity so that all customers benefit from its conservative, cost-based operating model
  • Initially, stock in the Company was granted on a per-acre basis, with 1 share of stock issued for each acre of land ownership
  • Today, landowners can vote their stock proportionally to the amount of land they own
  • Company stock and all of the provisions of this Agreement transfer to new owners and run in perpetuity with the land