What is a Watershed?

A watershed is the land that water flows over or under as it travels to a water body such as a creek, lake, lagoon, river, or ocean. We are all part of a watershed, and it is the responsibility of all residents to keep our watersheds healthy.

Escondido is part of three watersheds.

Most of Escondido is part of the Carlsbad Watershed, which is approximately 210 square miles and extends from the headwaters above Lake Wohlford in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west at the San Elijo lagoon. Approximately 48% of the watershed is urbanized and large population increases are expected in the near future.

The San Dieguito Watershed, which includes Kit Carson Creek and Lake Hodges, is a drainage area of 346 square miles. It empties to the ocean via the San Dieguito Lagoon in Solana Beach.

A small section of Escondido, which includes the northern section of Daley Ranch, is part of the San Luis Rey Watershed, which is currently undeveloped. Originating in the Palomar and Hot Springs Mountains, the San Luis Rey River extends over 55 miles and empties in the Pacific Ocean.

The City of Escondido is participating in a countywide effort to improve water quality in our creeks and eventually the Pacific Ocean. The Water Quality Improvement Plan sets out activities and projects that will be implemented to improve water quality and how we will measure improvement. The City and its partners host workshops and accept public comment on key documents for each Water Quality Improvement Plan throughout the two year planning process that will end June 2015. To learn more see Water Quality Improvement Planning.