What is a watershed?
A Watershed consists of all the land that drains rain water and snow melt to an area of common surface water like a lake, river, or stream.
How do watersheds work?*
The landscape is made up of many interconnected basins, or watersheds. Within each watershed, all water runs to the lowest point a stream, river, or lake. On its way, water travels over the surface and across the farm fields, forest land, suburban lawns, and city streets, or its seeps into the soil and travels as ground water.
Are all watersheds the same?*
Watersheds come in many different shapes and sizes and have many different features. Watersheds can have hills or mountains or be nearly flat. They can have farmland, rangeland, small towns, and big cities. Parts of your watershed may be so rough, rockey, or marshy that they are suited only for certain trees, plants, and wildlife.
What is a watershed?*
Everyone lives in a watershed. You and everyone in your watershed are part of the watershed community. The animals, birds, and fish are, too. You influence what happens in your watershed, good or bad, by how you treat the natural resources the soil, water, air, plants, and animals. What happens in your small watershed also affects the larger watershed downstream.
Nonpoint source pollution
Nonpoint Pollution is where harmful substances are carried by rain and melting snow over and through the earth – these substances then end up in groundwater, rivers, lakes and can even travel out into the ocean.
Pollutants carried in this fashion can come from a variety of sources and can be either natural or man-made.
Common origins for non-point pollution include CAFOs, oil and grease from machinery, bacteria and nutrients from faulty septic systems, as well as sediment and excess fertilizer, herbicide and insecticide from agricultural fields.
Nonpoint Pollution is the leading cause of water quality problems in rural areas, and there are many things you (as a resident of the watershed) can do to help prevent it.
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*Information taken from NRCS publication "What is a Watershed?" PA-420, December 2005