Water Sources / Features of the Missions

Were there any lakes and rivers by any of the California missions?

All the missions were located near a source of fresh water. They needed water to drink, to cook, to do the laundry, to bathe etc. Some of the missions were located near major rivers. Santa Clara was located on the banks of the Guadalupe River, for example.

In many cases the source of water was a stream or creek. The padres dammed the stream, then built an elaborate water system, typically with reservoirs to hold the water and an aqueduct to carry the water to the mission, which was usually a few miles away.