What is a watershed?

watershed_diagramA watershed is an area of land that drains all the streams and rainfall to a common outlet such as the outflow of a reservoir, mouth of a bay, or any point along a stream channel. The word “watershed” is sometimes used interchangeably with drainage basin or catchment. The watershed consists of surface water–lakes, streams, reservoirs, and wetlands–and all the underlying ground water.


Why should I care about my watershed?

We all live in a watershed and what we do on the land affects water quality for all communities living downstream. Watersheds provide water for irrigation, drinking, and streams. Watersheds are places wildlife and people call home


watershedmapThe Santa Ana River Watershed

The Santa Ana River Watershed is Southern California’s largest watershed, covering nearly 3,000 square miles of mountains, foothills and valleys. This watershed area contains portions of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties. The flow of the Santa Ana River begins in the San Bernardino Mountains and discharges into the ocean at Huntington Beach. It contains 50 tributaries. The Watershed area is home to more than 4.5 million people.