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 of Escondido Creek 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 collaborative Water Quality Improvement Planning efforts in both major watershed management areas and encourages the public to find more information at Project Clean Water, a regional clearinghouse for water quality information.