Menlo Park




The City of Menlo Park is located in the southern part of San Mateo County, bordered on the north by Atherton and to the south by Palo Alto.. Since the City is not located within Santa Clara County, the District's collaborative efforts with Menlo Park are limited. However, Menlo Park lies within the San Francisquito watershed and partners with the District on local natural flood protection and stewardship projects.

Shared Responsibilities

Most policies guiding development and use of resources in Menlo Park are contained in the City's General Plan. With the understanding that their roles and responsibilities often intersect, the District and the City work together on many key community interests.

Looking forward, further collaboration or partnership will facilitate sustainable development in the region, particularly in the following areas:

When evaluating land use decisions:

  • Assess and plan for changes in water demand and storm water management, especially taking into account how urbanization affects the water cycle.
  • Decrease the demand for water.
  • Expand water use efficiency in existing and new development.
  • Actively pursue and facilitate the use of recycled water.
  • Protect and expand local water supplies.
  • Protect groundwater basins and source water protection zones.
  • Reduce flood risk.
    • Site new construction to assure stable stream channels and minimize flood risk.
    • Require that new construction in flood prone areas be built to flood safe standards.
  • Protect natural stream functions.
    • Restore fisheries, riparian habitat, and wetland areas.
    • Explore opportunities for increased creek-side trails and open space.

During operations of existing facilities or services:

  • Manage local storm drainage systems with stream capacity to contain floodwaters.
  • Support measures to reduce the exposure to flood risk.
  • Support measures to enhance flood preparedness and knowledge of risk exposure.
  • Prepare critical facilities for operations during flood events or prolonged draught.
  • Reduce pollutants entering streams.


The interactive map below shows the location of Menlo Park and illustrates some of the city's key features, such as major creeks, flood zones and groundwater subbasins.

To view key features, choose a layer from the "Select a layer to display" menu on the map below. You can select multiple layers to view at one time; if you wish to turn off a layer, select it again from the menu. Individual layers contain specific data that you can access by clicking on the layer itself.




Key Water Resources Features

Menlo Park is located within the San Franciscquito Creek watershed system, with San Franciscquito Creek forming the city's southern border with Palo Alto. There are no major water bodies within the city limits, but Bear Gulch Reservoir lies northeast of the city and Lagunita Lake lies directly south.

Water Supply

While the City's General Plan does not include many specific requirements related to water resources, it does provide guidance and encouragement in support of water conservation, securing supplemental water supplies, and developing a comprehensive underground water protection program in partnership with other agencies. The City also advocates collaboration with the Bay Area Water Users Association to secure adequate water supplies for the region as appropriate.

Flood Protection

The General Plan sets forth policies regulating urban development in areas with flood hazards, and works to keep all regulations in compliance with FEMA standards.

Watershed Health

Menlo Park has worked with the District to protect and preserve San Franciscquito Creek in accordance with an implementation program outlined in the city's General Plan. This program considered regulations such as requiring use permits for structures or impervious surfaces within a specified distance of the top of the creek bank.

Citywide Programs and Projects

The City and the District collaborate on projects to maintain the health of the watershed and water quality, establish natural flood protection and provide access to open space and trails. Recent projects include:


Related Plan Elements

The Related Plan Elements listed below identify some of the District strategies  applicable to the city. They provide the basis for cities to provide better management of key water resources features within their jurisdictions and to work more effectively with the District to address water resources managemenet issues.

Related Plan Elements

District Collaborates
E- Ensure floodplain maps (alluvial and tidal) are based on best available data. (C)
District Advocates
E- Promote awareness of risks for developing in flood hazard areas. (T)