Our Watershed & Water Supplies

The food we grow and water we drink depends upon how we use the land and the water from the surrounding mountains in the Ojai Valley.  The rainwater runs off the mountains to the north, which drains into Lake Casitas and the surrounding groundwater basins.  Water from the Ventura River eventually drains to the estuary and then the Pacific Ocean.

What is a Watershed?

A watershed, also called a drainage basin or catchment basin, is an area of land that drains into a common water body—in our case, the Ventura River. Your bathtub is a small watershed, bordered by a ceramic rim. The Ventura River watershed is a large watershed, bordered by the high mountains of Nordhoff Ridge and White Ledge Peak. Ridgetops form the boundaries between watersheds.

Everything in a watershed that depends upon water is related in one way or another—streams, aquifers, lakes, habitats, and people—so changes or impacts to one part of a watershed ripple through and affect other parts.

State Regulations and Actions


See the State of CA Waterboards webpage for information on current statewide mandates and drought management plans.

Where does your water come from? How much water do you use? The 55 gallon per person water allocation is to go into effect in 2020.