What are Watersheds?

A watershed is “that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.”
John Wesley Powell, scientist and geographer

What is a watershed?
Infographic of how watersheds workA watershed is a basin-like landform defined by highpoints and ridgelines that descend into lower elevations and stream valleys. A watershed carries water “shed” from the land after rain falls and snow melts. Drop by drop, water is channeled into soils, ground waters, creeks, and streams, making its way to larger rivers and eventually the sea.

It is easy for water to become contaminated because it drains downward into larger bodies. What we do on the land affects the water quality for all communities living downstream.

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