Dry Canyon Reservoir


Dry Canyon Reservoir is a small reservoir formed by an embankment dam on Dry Canyon Creek in the foothills of the Sierra Pelona Mountains of northern Los Angeles County, California, just north of the city of Santa Clarita. It was designed as a part of the Los Angeles Aqueduct system.

Dry Canyon Reservoir
View from the west.
Dry Canyon Reservoir is located in Santa Clarita
Dry Canyon Reservoir
Dry Canyon Reservoir is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Dry Canyon Reservoir
Dry Canyon Reservoir is located in California
Dry Canyon Reservoir
LocationLos Angeles County, California
Coordinates34°29′04″N 118°31′44″W / 34.4845°N 118.5290°W / 34.4845; -118.5290Coordinates: 34°29′04″N 118°31′44″W / 34.4845°N 118.5290°W / 34.4845; -118.5290
Primary inflowsLos Angeles Aqueduct
Dry Canyon Creek
Primary outflowsLos Angeles Aqueduct
Dry Canyon Creek
Max. length780 feet (240 m)
Water volume72,750 cu ft (2,060 m3)
Surface elevation1,455 feet (443 m)
SettlementsSanta Clarita


Looking north across the reservoir when filled with water. Photo taken before 1936.

Constructed from 1910 to 1912, the 72,750 cu ft (2,060 m3) lake with a surface elevation of approximately 1,514 feet (461 m) above sea level regulated the flow of water from the irregular flow discharged from the power plants in San Francisquito Canyon. The incoming water from San Francisquito came from Tunnel 77 and the outgoing water went out Tunnel 78. Water from the lake was distributed via the Los Angeles Aqueduct to the northern portion of the Greater Los Angeles Area.[1][2]

Draining the ReservoirEdit

Following damages incurred by the dam itself during the 1952 Kern County earthquake and growing concerns over its structural integrity, the reservoir was drained in 1966. Since the early 1970s, efforts had been made to refill the reservoir but these plans have since been abandoned due to high costs. In the decades that followed, the suburban communities of Santa Clarita had grown northward to fill the narrow valley just downstream. The course of Dry Canyon Creek south of the reservoir was then funneled down a concrete wash to prevent flooding of the surrounding communities.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Dry Canyon".
  2. ^ "Complete Report on Construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct". 1916.