Irvine Lake

Irvine Lake

About Irvine Lake

Irvine LakeI

Water Storage at Irvine Lake.

Since it was originally constructed in 1933, the primary purpose of Irvine Lake (Santiago Creek Reservoir) is to store water for the benefit of the surrounding communities – initially to provide irrigation water for local farms, and more recently to satisfy water demands primarily for urban needs. Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) utilizes water from Irvine Lake for two purposes: 1) as a source of water for non-drinking purposes, such as irrigation for avocado orchards, and 2) as a source of water for the Baker Water Treatment Plant which creates drinking water for an estimated 85,000 homes in Orange County. Serrano Water District (SWD), a co-owner of Irvine Lake with IRWD, also uses water from Irvine Lake to provide treated drinking water to its customers in the City of Villa Park and some parts of the City of Orange.

Both IRWD and SWD balance the benefits of storing water in Irvine Lake to ensure customers have a reliable supply of water with minimizing evaporation of water from the Lake. When the water level in Irvine Lake is high, the rate of evaporation increases dramatically with the increase surface area of water. One other key consideration for managing water levels in the Lake is preserving the ability to capture rainwater from the surrounding hills that will flow into Irvine Lake. Capturing this fresh water in Irvine Lake at no cost to both agencies can help reduce the cost of providing drinking water to customers.

Fishing at Irvine Lake.

Fishing and boating have been allowed in the past at Irvine Lake. Control over these activities is the responsibility of, by contract, the owners of the “recreation rights”. The Irvine Lake recreation rights are owned by the following entities:

  • The Irvine Company: 75%
  • Serrano Water District: 25%
  • Irvine Ranch Water District: 0%

There is no recreational fishing or boating allowed at Irvine Lake at this time. Any future recreation activities are unknown, as the recreation rights are pending transfer from the Irvine Company to the County of Orange. This transfer is also subject to a future agreement between the County and SWD.



Latest News

Annual Cleanup Draws More than 150 VolunteersA trio of discarded bicycle frames, the tattered arm of an over-stuffed sofa, a weather-worn soccer ball and hundreds of discarded cigarette butts and snack wrappers were among the items found during this year’s Annual Watershed Cleanup Day event sponsored...
A Refuge to Inspire Your LandscapeTake a trip to the San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary—a hidden gem in Irvine. The RightScape demonstration garden surrounding the Visitors Center has more than three dozen plant varieties, each identified with a plant marker and QR code for...
Happy to See Green? Thank Our Purple PipesLet’s be honest. We love our treelined streets, verdant medians and common areas that define the Irvine Ranch Water District. And while other communities are cutting back on their landscaping, ours continues to flourish. Since 1963, IRWD has been implementing a...