200 feet

450 feet

82,000 acre-feet
(Lake Piru)

Powerhouse was added in 1987


The proposed interconnection project will bring State Water allocations to western Ventura County. The project is a collaboration between the City of Ventura, Calleguas Municipal Water District, Casitas Municipal Water District and United Water Conservation District to enhance local and regional water security.

Lake Piru and Santa Felicia Dam

The Santa Felicia Dam is an integral part of UWCD’s operations and a key facility in United’s mission to manage and protect the water resources of the Santa Clara Valley and the coastal Oxnard Plain in Ventura County. Santa Felicia Dam and Lake Piru Reservoir were constructed across Piru Creek in 1954 and 1955. The construction was locally funded without State or Federal subsidies, loan or grants. The dam was designed to recharge downstream groundwater basins that had been depleted due to substantial over pumping and to combat seawater intrusion in the groundwater aquifers near the Pacific Ocean.

To accomplish this, runoff from the Piru Creek Watershed is stored in Lake Piru in winter and spring, when downstream groundwater basins are at their fullest. Using the stored water, UWCD utilizes conservation releases from Santa Felicia Dam each year when the downstream groundwater basins are at their seasonal lows. The water is released into Lower Piru Creek and continues to flow to the Santa Clara River, where it is joined by runoff from the Sespe and Santa Paula Creek watersheds.

The conservation releases are designed to maximize the amount of water that reaches the Freeman Diversion at Saticoy, located downstream on the Santa Clara River. The recharge basins at Saticoy boasts an amazing percolation rate, replenishing groundwater basins with water that eventually is made available to municipalities, industry and farms.


Water releases at the Santa Felicia Dam provide the opportunity for hydroelectric power generation, and therefore, the Santa Felicia Dam Project is under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). United is holding a license issued by FERC and as a result must satisfy a number of terms and conditions to meet federal regulations. The dam is also under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Water Resources Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD). The regulatory requirements are associated with the safety of the dam and public safety; others pertain to water quality, management of biological and land resources, and recreational opportunities and facilities. The power that is generated at the site is conveyed by transmission lines owned and operated by the Southern California Edison Company.

Lake Piru and Santa Felicia Dam

Lake Piru


Santa Felicia Dam Safety Improvement Project

This presentation provides updates on the Santa Felicia Dam Safety Improvement Project


Lake Piru is a popular recreation area for people from miles around. The lake is ideal for water sports, such as swimming, sailing, water skiing, and fishing. The District’s relaxing campgrounds offer water and electrical hook-ups for recreational vehicles at reasonable rates. Recreational users also appreciate the full- service marina and snack bar.

For more details please contact the Lake Piru Recreation Area at (805) 521-1500.

For more information or to make a reservation:


Management, monitoring, and study plans that were developed in accordance with the requirements of the FERC license for the Santa Felicia Dam Project can be found below.

The plans were developed in consultation with the appropriate federal and/or state resource agency or agencies (including, but not limited to, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. National Forest Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California State Water Resources Control Board, California State Parks, California Department of Food and Agriculture, and Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner) and have been approved, and in some cases modified, by FERC. Additional plans have been drafted and are under review. Plan documents can be accessed after they are finalized and approved by FERC.

FERC compliance documents and logs can be found by clicking the following link:

Monitoring of water levels, water quality, and other key parameters are an integral part of United’s successful planning and water conservation actions. Recent technical reports include, but are not limited to, the following:

Lake Piru and Santa Felicia Dam