What is a watershed?

What is a
A watershed is an area of land that drains into a
common place –
such as a river, a bay, or an ocean
When precipitation occurs,
water runs to the lowest point
-- usually a stream, river or
Where does the water go?
On its way to the lowest point, the water
crosses over surfaces of forest land,
suburban land
and urbanized areas,
or it may simply seep into the soil and travel
through an aquifer (like an underground river).
The shape of the
land determines
where the water
will flow.
Everything that happens to a
watershed can affect what ends
up in the water.
In natural areas with trees and other
vegetation, water is slowed down. It doesn’t
pick up as much dirt
and doesn’t “wear away”
the land.
If there are no plants…
…you get “ruts”
in the land and
dirty water
flowing into the
rivers, lakes,
and oceans.
River Watersheds
Where the water finally ends up
The Mississippi River Watershed… is