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Watersheds of Santa Clara Valley


Wherever you are, you are in a watershed.

A watershed is the area of land that drains to a common waterway. In Santa Clara County, our creeks and rivers catch rain and runoff from storm drains and carry the water north to San Francisco Bay or south to Monterey Bay. Along the way, some of the water is used to fill reservoirs for drinking water, replenish the underground aquifer and create better habitat for fish and wildlife.

Coyote Watershed


Sixteen major creeks drain this 322 - square - mile area. The county's largest watershed, it extends from the urbanized valley floor upward to the vast natural areas of the Mt. Hamilton range.

Coyote Creek, its main waterway, is the longest creek in the county.

Coyote Watershed is also home to Penitencia Water Treatment Plant, the water district treatment plant serving an area from Milpitas in the north to Aborn Road in the south. The treatment plant is a source of drinking for 270,000 residential and commercial users.

Guadalupe Watershed

Lower Peninsula Watershed

Uvas-Llagas Watershed

West Valley Watershed



Check out the Watching Our Watersheds (WOW) interactive history map of Santa Clara Valley watersheds

"Watching Our Watersheds" is a project to map the creeks, urban drainage network, watersheds, baylands, and points of interest in Santa Clara Valley.