The Water Resources Agency manages, protects, stores and conserves water resources in Monterey County for beneficial and environmental use, while minimizing damage from flooding to create a safe and sustainable water supply for present and future generations.
Carmel River Watershed
The Carmel River drainage basin begins 3,500 feet above sea level on the western slopes of the Sierra de Salinas mountain range and drains 225 square miles into the Carmel River, which extends 25 miles, through Carmel Valley, and into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary at Carmel Bay. The San Clemente and Los Padres Dams are situated on the upper reaches of the Carmel River.
(Photo - Carmel River, March 1995)
Pajaro River Watershed
The Pajaro River watershed encompasses four counties and drains approximately 1,300 square miles into the Pajaro River. It commences in San Benito and southern Santa Clara counties, and eventually forms the boundary between Monterey and Santa Cruz counties before it empties into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The river crosses the San Andreas fault with the upper watershed positioned on the North American plate, and the lower on the Pacific plate.
(Photo - Pajaro River, March 1995)
Salinas River Watershed
The Salinas River watershed originates 4,000 ft. above sea level in the Santa Ynez Mountains and drains 4,600 square miles. The Salinas River has three main tributaries: Arroyo Seco, Nacimiento and San Antonio Rivers. The Salinas River flows 90 miles, emptying into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Nacimiento and San Antonio dams are located on tributaries to the Salinas River.
(Photo - Salinas River, March 1995)
Monterey County Water Resources Agency
1441 Schilling Pl., North Bldg., Salinas, CA 93901
Phone (831) 755-4860 | FAX (831) 424-7935 | After Hours (831) 796-1166