What is a watershed?
Physically, a watershed is an area within which any drop of rain that falls will end up in a single river, lake, or ocean. But it is more than that. A watershed encompasses everything that can happen to that drop of water along its way. The watershed links together plants, animals, people, businesses, and anything else that uses water. It is affected by geography, ecology, economy, society, politics, and culture.
Throughout the country, people are looking for ways to maximize benefits and minimize costs associated with managing streams through a process called watershed management.
Watershed management means looking at all of the great things streams can do, such as supply drinking water, provide opportunities for recreation, and sustain habitat for wildlife. It also means considering the problems created by the relationship between society and water, including limited supply, flooding, and pollution. In conducting watershed management, organizations must cross boundaries. Watershed management planning is being undertaken by most local government agencies to balance these issues.
Watershed U. is a program designed to train people from local government, non-profit and citizen groups, and business to work together and play effective roles in watershed management and to become stewards of their streams. Watershed U. enables groups to jointly develop goals by giving them a background to understand each others' points of view and develop a common knowledge base and language to move forward.
For more about Watershed U., click here.