The Metropolitan's reservoirs store fresh water for use in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties. These reservoirs were built specifically to store water during times of dry conditions or drought, and are in place for use in emergencies such as earthquakes, floods or other events.
Metropolitan maintains three major water reservoirs, plus a group of six smaller reservoirs.
The water sources for these reservoirs are the State Water Project and the Colorado River Aqueduct.
Visitor Center2325 Searl ParkwayHemet, CA 92543 Phone(951) 765-2612
Learn more about Diamond Valley Lake
Diamond Valley Lake is Southern California's largest reservoir with a capacity of approximately 810,000 acre-feet (264 billion gallons). Construction began September 1995 and the reservoir was completed in March 2000 and doubled the region's water storage capacity.
DVL covers 4,500 surface acres, is 4.5 miles long and more than two miles wide, with a depth of 150 to 250 feet. The reservoir is located near Hemet in Riverside County approximately 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
DVL holds enough water to meet the area's emergency and drought needs for six months and is an important component in Metropolitan's system that provides a reliable supply of water to the 19 million people in Metropolitan's six-county service area.
Information about the public recreational facilities at Diamond Valley Lake can be found on its recreational website.
18250 La Sierra AvenueRiverside, CA 92503
Lake Mathews is located in the Cajalco Valley in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains in Riverside County. It is the western terminus for the Colorado River Aqueduct that provides much of the water used by Metropolitan's member agencies.
Construction on the reservoir began in 1933, at the same time the CRA was being built across the desert. The dam and intake structure were completed in 1939. The first water arrived from the Colorado River in February 1940, and water deliveries began in 1941. In 1961, the reservoir's capacity was nearly doubled to its current capacity of 182,000 acre-feet through the construction of two small dikes.
Lake Mathews is surrounded by approximately 4,000 acres of protected land. In 1982, this land was declared a State ecological reserve. In the early 1990s, an additional 9,000 acres was added to the reserve after the discovery of the endangered Stephens kangaroo rat in the area. The area is now called the Lake Mathews Estelle Mountain Reserve.
The Lake Mathews area is an important bird resting and feeding site, particularly in the winter months. In addition to a variety of ducks, double-crested cormorants, Western grebe, eared grebe, golden eagles, and bald eagles are present during the winter.
There are no public recreational facilities at Lake Mathews.
Built in 1973, Lake Skinner covers 1,400 acres and has a storage capacity of 44,000 AF. It is supplied by the Colorado River Aqueduct and the State Water Project. The lake feeds the Robert A. Skinner treatment plant and, in turn, supplies water to Metropolitan's member agencies.Lake Skinner has public recreational facilities and is within easy access of Interstates 15 and 215.Lake Skinner is host to the annual Metropolitan-sponsored Solar Cup each May.For more information on the Lake Skinner recreational facilities click here. Note: When you click on an external website link, you will be leaving the Metropolitan web site and entering an Internet site outside Metropolitan's control.
In addition to Diamond Valley, Lake Mathews and Lake Skinner, Metropolitan also owns and operates six smaller reservoirs that, combined, hold approximately 32,000 acre-feet of water. These reservoirs are located in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.
Copper Basin: The reservoir's capacity is 22,000 acre-feet with the dam located in San Bernardino County west of the Colorado River from Parker, Arizona. It is 184-feet high and 265-feet long.
Gene Wash: The reservoir's capacity is 6,300 acre-feet. The dam is located in San Bernardino County west of the Colorado River from Parker, Arizona. It is 140-feet high and 383-feet long.
Live Oak: The reservoir's capacity is 2,500 acre-feet. The dam is located in Los Angeles County. It is 105-feet high and 3,000-feet long.
Palos Verdes: The reservoir is located in Los Angeles County with a capacity of 1,100 acre-feet. It was completed in 1939. The dam is 83-feet high and 2,150-feet long.
Orange County: The reservoir is located in the city of Brea. It was completed in 1941 and has a capacity of 217 acre-feet. The dam is 103-feet high and 655-feet long.
Garvey Reservoir: The reservoir is located in Monterey Park and has a capacity of 1,600 acre-feet. The dam height is 160 feet and the crest length is 5,164.