This thesis examines the historical and archaeological patterns of water use in San Diego County. It then situates the recently excavated Whaley House cistern/well in temporal, spatial and formal context. The Whaley House, located in Old Town San Diego, is well known for being the first two-story brick structure in Southern California. The Whaley House cistern/well has been the subject of archaeological investigations for the past four years. Research on the cistern/well and its fill will offer insight into the Whaley family and San Diego County's water use. In addition, a comparative analysis of various well and cistern structures prevalent in San Diego during the 19th and 20th centuries will be conducted in order to determine if and how the Whaley cistern/well corresponds with historical San Diego County water use patterns. This study evaluates the normalcy of the Whaley House cistern/ well by comparing it with historical photographs, site records, and reports of archaeologically excavated historical wells and cisterns.