The Greater Johnstown Water Authority was incorporated, under the Municipality Authorities Act, in 1964 by the City of Johnstown and Boroughs of Westmont and Southmont as a joint Municipal Authority to provide potable water to the residents of the Greater Johnstown area. At which time the Greater Johnstown Water Authority acquired all of the assets of the Johnstown Water Company and the Saltlick Water Company.
The Johnstown Water Company had provided water to the inhabitants of the Johnstown area since its creation by a special Act of Assembly in 1866. The water company had since its inception, a strong link with the growing steel industry. In 1929 the Bethlehem Steel Co. acquired most of the shares in the water company turning it into a subsidiary for all practical intents and purposes. The 1964 acquisition culminated 52 years of bargaining by public officials to put ownership of this most valuable local resource into the hands of the public.
The Greater Johnstown Water Authority operates three dams, two wells, a 14 million gallon per day (mgd) water treatment plant at Riverside, a 3 mgd treatment plant at the Saltlick Reservoir and numerous storage tanks and pump stations. The Authority currently serves a base of over 21,000 customers. Average consumption is around 6.5 mgd with peak consumption in the summer at 10 mgd. In addition to its reservoirs the GJWA has a long term supply contract with the Cambria Somerset Authority to purchase water from the Quemahoning reservoir. The combination of sources of supply provides the GJWA with a large surplus of potable water available for new users.