Sunnyvale East Watershed

The Sunnyvale East Channel was constructed in 1967 to manage flooding that was becoming a problem due to subsidence of lands in the drainage area.  The Sunnyvale East Channel watershed covers 7.1 square miles extending from central Cupertino northeastward through the City of Sunnyvale. The watershed draining to the Channel is located entirely on the alluvial plain of the Santa Clara Valley.

The Channel is approximately 6 miles in length and extends from Interstate 280 in the south to Guadalupe Slough in the north. The channel is a man made feature with no natural antecedent. One quarter of it runs through underground culverts (SCVWD 2005b). It drains to the Lower South San Francisco Bay via the Junipero Serra Channel and the Guadalupe Slough.

The Sunnyvale East Channel watershed is almost entirely urbanized with predominately residential development (59%), as well as commercial and industrial (23%). (SCVWD 2005b)  The only contiguous open space area in the watershed is the Sunnyvale Baylands along the San Francisco Bay shoreline and smaller city-owned parks in Sunnyvale and Cupertino. 

No fish species are known to occur upstream of the tidally influenced area.

Watershed Facts

  • Drainage area: 7.1 square miles
  • Number of creeks: 0
  • Miles of creek:  0
  • Miles of Engineered Channel:  6.2
  • Miles of Underground Culvert or Stormdrain:  26.6
  • Local jurisdictions:  Cupertino, Sunnyvale
  • Percent area by land use:
    • Residential 65.3%
    • Industrial/Commercial 31.8%
    • Forest 0%
    • Rangeland 0%
    • Other 2.9%
  • Percent Impervious Area:  82.2%
  • Beneficial Uses: None

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