LA River Watershed

A watershed is an area or region of land whose runoff drains into a creek, river or other body of water. Since much of Los Angeles is paved, many people are not aware that we have watersheds here in Southern California. However, the truth of the matter is that we all live in a watershed. Los Angeles has four primary watersheds.

The Industrial District of downtown Los Angeles is in the LA River Watershed.




From the LA Stormwater website:

"Together with community organizations and environmental groups, the City of Los Angeles is working to improve water quality in Southern California. Projects throughout the watershed are improving water quality by reducing the amount of pollution flowing into rivers and creeks that drain into the Los Angeles River."


From the LA County Department of Public Works website:

Mission: To create a balance between urban and natural resources within the Los Angeles River Watershed.
- Enhance water quality
- Increase flood protection
- Promote groundwater recharge
- Provide recreational and habitat growth opportunities
- Create open space

The Los Angeles River Watershed covers a land area of 834 square miles. The eastern portion spans from the Santa Monica Mountains to the Simi Hills and in the west from the Santa Susana Mountains to the San Gabriel Mountains. The watershed encompasses and is shaped by the path of the Los Angeles River, which flows from its headwaters in the mountains eastward to the northern corner of Griffith Park. Here the channel turns southward through the Glendale Narrows before it flows across the coastal plain and into San Pedro Bay near Long Beach. The Los Angeles River has evolved from an uncontrolled, meandering river providing a valuable source of water for early inhabitants to a major flood protection waterway.

The Los Angeles River Watershed Section is tasked with finding ways to restore or revitalize the channels within the watershed and thereby provide significant opportunities for recreation and aesthetic improvement for the Los Angeles metropolitan area while protecting the Los Angeles Basin from major flooding.