The Story of the Whitewater River Watershed

The Whitewater Watershed is one of the most pristine and remote watersheds in Southern California. The watershed drains into the Whitewater River, an area of ecological significance that supplies water to cities such as Palm Springs, Coachella, and La Quinta.

The Whitewater River

The Whitewater River is a small permanent stream and begins its free-flowing journey from the 11,499-foot-high summit of Mount San Gorgonio in the San Bernardino mountains. It is joined by three significant tributaries before reaching the Salton Sea. Since this river is a critical link between the San Bernardino Mountains and San Jacinto Mountains, it responsible for sheltering diverse species such as the Spotted Owl, Nelson’s Bighorn Sheep, and the Arroyo Toad.

The Whitewater Watershed

The Whitewater Watershed is home to the cities of Cathedral City, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, and Coachella. The recurring increase in population has generated more pollution and a greater demand for water endangering the conservation of the watershed. Due to floods and shifting channels there is almost no riparian forest development, except very locally along rivers and streams.

Watershed Challenges

The water in your watershed satisfies thirst and sustains life in more than one way. However, water health and quality are jeopardized by various forms of pollution such as runoff, illegal dumping, and littering. That is why proper watershed protection is necessary for you and your community.

A healthy watershed consists of informed conscious residents making the right decisions when it comes to healthy water. Learn more about what you can do to keep your watershed clean by signing up for our monthly eNewsletter!

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