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Healthy Creeks and Ecosystems


The more than 800 miles of creeks and rivers in our valley need protection and care. Unique among water districts, state legislation authorizes the district "to enhance, protect, and restore streams, riparian corridors, and natural resources..."

Santa Clara Valley encompasses five major watersheds. A watershed is the land area from which surface runoff drains into a stream channel, lake, reservoir or the ocean. For example, all the creeks and rivers in the Guadalupe Watershed, including water from storm drains, flow into the Guadalupe River then downstream into San Francisco Bay.

The health of a creek reflects the conditions throughout the watershed, not just those along its banks. The water district's environmental work protects and restores habitats and encourages the return of endangered species such as the red-legged frog, steelhead trout and salt marsh harvest mouse.

In addition, the district also partners with cities and the county to provide open space and recreational opportunities at many of its 10 reservoirs and along creeks throughout the county. Since 2000, public access to more than 70 miles of new creekside trails has been made available in the county.