The Ventura County Watershed Protection District (then known as the Ventura County Flood Control District) was formed on September 12, 1944, when the California State Legislature approved the Ventura County Flood Control Act. The District was formed, in part, to provide for the control and conservation of flood and storm waters and for the protection of watercourses, watersheds, public highways, life and property in the district from damage or destruction from these waters. On January 1, 2003, the name was changed to the Ventura County Watershed Protection District to reflect changes in community values, regulatory requirements, and funding opportunities. The name change also reflected the District’s desire to emphasize integrated watershed management and solve flood control problems with environmentally sound approaches. The District’s mission is to protect life, property, watercourses, watersheds, and public infrastructure from the dangers and damages associated with flood and stormwaters. Goals of the District include:
Comprehensive, long range watershed planning
Collaboration with watershed stakeholders
Administration of adopted regulations, policies, and resolutions
Responsible and accountable use of public resources
Excellence in public service
The District’s ongoing activities are funded through property taxes, benefit assessments, and land development fees. To facilitate management of revenues and projects, the District was divided into four zones, roughly corresponding to the major river systems in the county. Zone 1 essentially follows the boundaries of the Ventura River Watershed and coastal drainages in the western part of the county. Zone 2 basically follows the boundaries of the Santa Clara River Watershed and local coastal drainages in the cities of San Buenaventura and Oxnard. Zone 3 essentially follows the boundaries of the Calleguas Creek Watershed and its tributaries. Zone 4 is a mixture of Malibu coastal drainages in the southern part of the county and the relatively undeveloped Cuyama River Watershed in the northern part of the county. Benefit assessment monies collected from each zone are dedicated to support operations and maintenance and NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit activities within that zone. Property tax monies raised within a zone are spent on construction projects and to support District planning studies within that zone.
The District’s authority over its jurisdictional channels is established through a number of ordinances and policies passed by its Board of Supervisors. The primary ordinance establishing District authority and the requirement to obtain permits for any encroachment into District jurisdictional channels, including rights of way, is Ventura County Ordinance VC Ord. WP-1 (277 Kb, PDF), An Ordinance Relating to the Protection and Regulation of Flood Control Facilities and Watercourses. The District also implements the Flood Plain Management Ordinance 3841 (PDF, 61 KB) on behalf of the County of Ventura to ensure compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program. This includes permit review for structures built in the floodplain and evaluation of site plans for developments that include identified floodplains. For incorporated jurisdictions, each city serves as the floodplain manager for its sphere of influence. Right-Click HERE or the Map image hotspot "Picture_WPD_Channels" on this page to download an image of the District's Jurisdictional or "redline" channels in Jpg format (6.9 mb).