San Diego City & County

As I have said in other places, San Diego County is a huge territory in which to hunt for lakes and ponds (over 4500 square mi) and a complicated one, with 18 incorporated cities, 30 "Census Designated Communities," 18 Indian reservations and 5 large military bases plus 20 smaller defense facilities. 

As I continue to find lakes and ponds, I am faced with the need to improve my definition of WHERE THEY ARE. At first it seemed seemed reasonable to say "This Lake or Pond is in Northern San Diego," but it just isn't useful or accurate.

The size/shape of the City of San Diego works against me. It extends more than 40 miles from north to south with 372 square miles of irregularly-shaped area that isn't easily defined:

I have learned some suprising facts:
  • 10% of San Diego's land area is in MCAS Miramar and NOT "San Diego City" proper. 
  • Areas appearing to be city but are NOT: 4S Ranch, San Diego Airport & Harbor Island
  • Areas that don't seem to be city but ARE: San Ysidro (south) & San Pasqual Valley (north).
  • Three plots of San Diego county are "islands" surrounded by San Diego city.
Here is a map showing all land owned by government agencies of one kind or another. Not much left for you and me, is there?

The colored areas on the map include 18 Indian Reservations (200 sq mi), military facilities (1,500 sq mi), and Federal land including Cleveland National Forest, VA hospitals, courtrooms, prisons, ports, airports and border crossings. Here are the reservations.

I tried to describe one pond's location − Google Maps locates it within Vista City limits, also inside Fallbrook's School District; and it is managed by Oceanside Water District! 

Locating ponds by their Name is no good; City is inadequate; Street Address impossible; Latitude and Longitude too difficult to "read" at a glance. There are too many ponds to mark with dots on an easy-to-read map. I've concluded they have to be fitted into zones.

I decided to draw lines along on major roads and freeways that every driver is familiar with. See the Page on Organizing Lakes & Ponds for more on how and why this zone system works.