Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara University


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Edwin Maurer


The Santa Clara River Valley is an area that has traditionally had a considerably high water table and that remains relatively true today as a result of a local adoption of imported surface water to meet most needs. Historically, the result of this high water table was a network of meandering waterways throughout the valley, several of which came extremely close to our own Santa Clara University. Despite this, there are no natural surface water systems that exist in this location today. In 1851, a Santa Clara county surveyor report showed one creek in particular that flowed nearly to the Santa Clara Mission. This area has undergone a great deal of infrastructural improvements, but the essential hydrogeological features as well as the main water systems are intact. The purpose of this report is to find the location of this fated water system, to find what circumstances would need to exist for it to resurface, and to develop design criteria for the restoration of this water system based on current conditions. The stream was located and a theory was developed to explain its disappearance. A plan was developed for the restoration of this stream that would bring a running water system back to Santa Clara University and the surrounding city. The stream was found and was redesigned such that it could be constructed in its natural location as it currently exists. Stable flow conditions were then estimated, an erodible channel was designed, and a cost estimate was created.