Rudawa has its origins in the place where two small brooks Krzeszówka and Rudawka, are connecting. In this spot, 37 kilometers long river arises. It flows through Zabierzow (where the riverbed creates a picturesque gorge called Skała Kmity). In 1327 in Mydlniki village (current district of Krakow), with a water system built on Rudawa, suburban towns were irrigated, including moat around Wawel Hill in Krakow.
Nowadays, Rudawa is also a source of water – it delivers the medium to municipal waterworks. Every October and November, Rudawa also feeds fish ponds in Mydlniki (district of Krakow) – carp breeding.
Formerly Rudawa feeds the Vistula nearby to Dębnicki Bridge in Krakow, but after the Great Flood in 1903, the government decided to regulate its riverbed.