Welcome to Vail Lake

Bike riders at Vail LakeRecreation

Rancho Water has contracted with Kampgrounds Enterprises Incorporated (KEI) which is currently operating the campground activities. Storage levels at the lake have receded as water was drawn to meet the District’s supply needs. Vail Lake water levels have reached the end of the boat ramp; therefore, it is unsafe to currently launch boats. In addition, winter storms have damaged both access roads to the Vail Lake Marina, such that the access roads are not usable.


About the Reservoir

Vail Lake is a water storage reservoir located east of Temecula on Temecula Creek. Since 1978 Rancho Water has owned and managed Vail Dam, and the water in the lake. The reservoir has a storage capacity of approximately 45,000 acre-feet (AF); however, due to the long term effects of the drought, there is approximately 15,000 AF currently stored in the lake.

Vail Lake & the Drought

Rancho Water uses the water stored in Vail Lake as part of its recharge for the groundwater basin which provides 25 to 40% of the District’s water supply. After several years of extremely dry weather, Vail lake levels are low. It is important for customers to understand that our local supplies will need many years of above average rainfall to recover. We are seeking out new ways to replenish our aquifers. We are also limiting our pumping so that when the next dry spell hits, we will be ready. But we also need your help. Remember, water conservation is key. 

Vail Lake Acquisition

Rancho Water acquired land surrounding Vail lake in order to protect the quality of its water supplies, enhance the reliability of those supplies, and maintain a lower cost water source.

  • The District is able to better protect the watershed which is a key element of the water supply for its 150,000 customers in Temecula, Murrieta, and unincorporated southwest Riverside County.
  • The District also gained increased flexibility in its management of the water stored in the lake.
  • Protecting water quality and enhancing the reliability of water supplies are essential for a water district in a state where water supplies are limited and the population is growing. The District’s responsibility is to develop and implement a long-term vision which accommodates future scenarios for the region.
  • The District uses water stored in Vail Lake as part of its recharge for the groundwater basin that provides approximately 25 to 40% of the District’s water supply. Groundwater provides high quality water to Rancho Water customers, provides a reliable water source during drought times, and is significantly less expensive than imported water.

Land Preservation

Rancho Water will retain open space and ensure the protection of the property’s unique and diverse ecological habitats.

  • Preservation of the land will protect critical habitat for nearly 40 endangered and sensitive species of plants and animals, including the bald eagle, golden eagle, and the great blue heron.

Final Property Guidance Document

The District has completed the Vail Lake Property Guidance Document.

Similar to a General Plan or Master Plan, this document identifies various land use options for specific areas of the approximately 8,000 acres of land surrounding Vail Lake.