Laguna Hydrologic Area (901.1)
The Laguna Hydrologic Area is entirely within the boundaries of Orange County. It encompasses 39,894 acres and is divided into three subwatersheds: Laguna Coastal Streams; Aliso Creek; and Dana Point Coastal Streams. The Laguna Coastal Streams Watershed includes portions of Aliso Viejo, Laguna Beach, and Laguna Woods and consists of the Laguna Canyon Creek watershed, which runs directly down the middle of this watershed and discharges into the Pacific Ocean in Laguna Beach, and several other smaller watersheds.
The Aliso Creek Watershed includes portions of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, and Mission Viejo. Its main water body is Aliso Creek, a long, narrow coastal canyon which has headwaters in the Cleveland National Forest and discharges into the Pacific Ocean at Aliso Beach.
The Dana Point Coastal Streams Watershed includes portions of Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, and Dana Point. Its main tributary is Salt Creek, which ultimately drains into the Pacific Ocean near the northern boundary of the City of Dana Point. The Dana Point Harbor is also located within this watershed.
Mission Viejo Hydrologic Area (901.2)
The Mission Viejo Hydrologic Area is entirely within the boundaries of Orange County. It encompasses 101,279 acres and represents the San Juan Creek Watershed. The largest of the region's watersheds, the San Juan Creek Watershed includes portions of Dana Point, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, and San Juan Capistrano. Its main tributary, San Juan Creek, originates in the Santa Ana Mountains district of the Cleveland National Forest.
San Clemente Hydrologic Area (901.3)
The San Clemente Hydrologic Area is located in the southernmost part of Orange County. It encompasses 12,597 acres and represents the San Clemente Coastal Streams Watershed. The San Clemente Coastal Streams Watershed includes portions of San Clemente, San Juan Capistano, and Dana Point. Prima Deshecha Canada is one of two main streams that flow through the City of San Clemente, ultimately discharging into the Pacific Ocean at Poche Beach. The second main stream draining the watershed is Seguna Deshecha Canada, which discharges into the Pacific Ocean at North Beach.
San Mateo Canyon Hydrologic Area (901.4)
The San Mateo Canyon Hydrologic Area is divided up amongst the Counties of Riverside, Orange, and San Diego. Headwaters for the system are located in Riverside County; however, it drains runoff from all three counties before discharging to the Pacific Ocean in San Diego County. Approximately 31,000 acres of the system lies within the borders of San Diego County.
Of the portion that is within San Diego County, approximately fifty-three percent (53%) is incorporated into Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The remaining portions are unincorporated and include some park lands and other open spaces.
The primary water body within the system of course, is San Mateo Creek. It is fed by a number of smaller creeks and tributaries, including Christianitos Creek. Water bodies within the San Mateo Hydrologic Area have fortunately avoided many of the water quality issues that are present in many developed watersheds, and as such, have avoided any 303(d) listings.
Which Marine Corps Base is located in the San Mateo Canyon Hydrologic Area?
San Onofre Hydrologic Area (901.5)
The San Onofre Hydrologic Area is completely within the boundaries of the County of San Diego. It encompasses approximately 37,500 acres near the northern border of the County and is dedicated primarily to military uses associated with Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. In fact, only about three percent (3%) of the land within the hydrologic area is not military land.
The system contains a number of important water features, including San Onofre and Jardine Creeks. These creeks, along with their associated tributaries, converge in San Onofre Valley before discharging into the Pacific Ocean. Similar to the San Mateo Canyon Hydrologic Area, the San Onofre Hydrologic Area has largely avoided the impairments that plague more developed watersheds.
What portion of the San Onofre Hydrologic Area is dedicated to military uses?
San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (San Diego Regional Board). 2016 (August 5). Basin Plan. San Diego, CA. Available: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/sandiego/water_issues/programs/basin_plan.
South Orange County MS4 Copermittees. 2016. South Orange County (San Juan Hydrologic Unit) Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP). Draft, April 1, 2016. Submitted to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board by the San Juan Copermittees.
State Water Resources Control Board. 2010. California's 2010 Clean Water Act Section 303(d) List of Water Quality Limited Segments. Approved October 11, 2011. Sacramento, CA: State Water Resources Control Board.
Whether you become involved in the public process or you simply take steps to limit your own water usage in and around your home, you can become a part of the solution.
Adopt A Channel! OC Public Works's Adopt A Channel Program allows individuals, organizations, and businesses to adopt a portion of an Orange County flood control channel in order to carry out periodic trash cleanups. In doing so, Adopters positively impact our waterways, set examples and raise awareness of the effects of keeping our waterways clean and healthy, and are recognized for their commitment to community stewardship. Become an Adopter today!
Think about replacing sod and other water-intensive shrubbery with drought-tolerant landscaping. As a result of drought, many jurisdictions and water agencies offer rebates and other incentives to remove natural turf and install rain barrels and other water capture devices. This will save you money and reduce your monthly water bill! Keep in mind that irrigation runoff from your property is prohibited and can result in a fine.
Limit car washing and power-washing of building exteriors as much as possible. If your vehicle is in need of some TLC, then consider taking it to a certified car wash. If you are on a budget, then wash your car over permeable or unpaved surfaces, allowing any excess water to be absorbed into the soil instead of running into storm drains.
Dispose of pet waste appropriately. When taking your dog for a walk, make sure that you always have a bag on hand so that when nature calls, you are ready. This will help prevent bacteria and pathogens from getting into our waterways.
Volunteer for a clean up event. If you have some free time and don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, many conservancies and foundations host clean up events for local creeks and lagoons. Please see our calendar to learn more about what events are being offered in your area!
Don’t litter! Trash on our roadways and in our yards has a tendency to make its way into creeks, rivers, and ocean waters during rain events. Consider carrying a bag with you to collect litter as you take your morning or evening stroll.
Implementation and adaptation of the WQIP is an ongoing process and public input is encouraged. Meetings that are open to the public are posted in a timely manner to allow for public involvement. If you are interested, please check out our website for upcoming meetings.
Report Pollution. If you observe any discharges of water that you believe may be illicit, then do not hesitate to report it by means of our contacts page.
...Lastly, do what you can to spread the word! Sometimes the most effective strategy is the simplest one. Now that you are a water quality expert, we are relying on your help to educate your family, friends, and coworkers.