Photo Credit: J. Kitzenberger
What is a Watershed?
A watershed is a land area that drains to a common waterway such as a creek, river, lake, wetland, bay, ocean, or groundwater aquifer. In the Santa Clara Valley, rain flows into creeks, rivers, and storm drains that flow to San Francisco Bay. Some of the water infiltrates the soil or is diverted to reservoirs and percolation ponds to replenish underground aquifers. You live in a watershed that flows to a local creek, and all of the runoff from your home, yard, and neighborhood flows to that creek.
Why are Healthy Watersheds important?
Watersheds are more than just drainage areas in and around our communities. They are necessary to support habitats for plants and animals, and they provide drinking water for people and wildlife. They also provide the opportunity for recreation and enjoyment of nature. Pollution in our watersheds degrades the environment, harms wildlife habitat, impacts the economy and jobs, causes higher taxes and fees, and ultimately can affect the health of humans.
Healthy watersheds provide critical services, such as clean drinking water, productive fisheries, and outdoor recreation, that support our economies, environment, and quality of life. The protection of natural resources in our watershed is essential to maintain the health and welfare of all living things, both now and in the future.
The West Valley communities of Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, and Saratoga lie in the southwest portion of Santa Clara Valley and include the West Valley, Calabazas, Guadalupe, and San Tomas Aquino watersheds.
Find your local watershed by visiting Santa Clara Valley Watersheds. Explore the history of the Santa Clara Valley Watersheds at Watching Our Watersheds Historic Santa Clara Valley.
Watch our video to learn more about our watersheds and the impacts that our everyday activities have on them: