We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
~ David Brower ~
A watershed is defined as the land area in which water collects and drains onto a lower level property or into a river, ocean or other body of water. The Los Angeles River Watershed covers a land area of over 2,135 square kilometers (834 square miles) from the eastern portions of Santa Monica Mountains, and Simi Hills, and Santa Susana Mountains to the San Gabriel Mountains in the west. There are eight major tributaries to the Los Angeles River as it flows from its headwaters to the Pacific Ocean. The watershed has 22 lakes within its boundaries including Devil Gates Dam, Hansen Basin, Lopez Dam, Pacoima Dam, and Sepulveda Basin.
Because the Los Angeles River is situated within a highly urbanized watershed, the success of any and all changes to the River channel-including greening, habitat enhancements, water quality treatments, and restoration activities—are impacted by both upstream and downstream activity in the watershed.
Because of its function in draining the watershed, the Los Angeles River bears a disproportionate share of the responsibility for addressing region-wide problems, such as flood control, trash and debris collection, and absorption of the effects of contaminated urban runoff.
Our 2007 River Plan program offered an informed view of what is possible and united the audience in the belief that good things lie ahead for the LA River.
~ Philip S. Hart, Ph.D.,
Urban Land Institute
Los Angeles ~
Many watershed-scale planning efforts have been undertaken or are currently underway. The Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan seeks to strengthen and complement these efforts.
The following websites provide information on watersheds and watershed management:
- Calfed Bay-Delta Program:
- Department of Environmental Affairs, City of Los Angeles:
- Department of Public Works, Bureau of Sanitation, Watershed Protection Division, City of Los Angeles:
- Department of Public Works, Watershed Management Division, County of Los Angeles:
- Department of Water and Power, City of Los Angeles:
- Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council:
- Los Angeles County Integrated Regional Water Management Plan:
- State Water Resources Control Board:
- EPA Watershed Academy:
Los Angeles River Watershed Management Plans:
The Arroyo Seco Watershed Restoration Feasibility Study. Prepared by Northeast Trees and the Arroyo Seco Foundation, 2002.
The watershed study is an important planning document for the restoration of the grand canyon that runs from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Los Angeles River through Pasadena, South Pasadena and Northeast Los Angeles. The goal of the study was to develop a comprehensive, long-term plan to restore and enhance the Arroyo Seco, a major tributary of the Los Angeles River.
Compton Creek Watershed Management Plan. Prepared by LASGRWC with assistance of EIP Associates and Heal the Bay, June 2005.
This plan includes a description of the Compton Creek Watershed, a tributary of the Los Angeles River, goals and objectives for the Watershed based on community concerns, watershed project types, a proposed monitoring plan, assignments of stakeholder responsibilities, an inventory of projects and potential funding, and defined watershed management strategies.