The watershed consists of 19,300 acres of protected lands surrounding the Los Vaqueros Reservoir, which holds 160,000 acre-feet of stored drinking water. An expansion of the reservoir took place in 2011 and 2012. The reservoir expended from a maximum capacity of 100,000 acre-feet to 160,000 acre-feet. Recreational facilities at the South Entrance were relocated to higher ground. The project enables the Water District to pump high quality water from Old River in the Delta during wet months when salinity is low, then store it for use in the fall, when the Delta water quality is poor. The water is pumped from the Old River intake, then transported through several miles of pipeline to the reservoir, where it is stored.
The project’s primary purpose is to improve drinking water quality for 450,000 customers and the watershed is open to the public for recreation year round.
The watershed offers fishing, a boat rental marina, courtesy fishing docks, hiking and multi-use trails, picnic facilities, restrooms and three staging areas.