The word “watershed” is used all the time in water related discussions or settings.  We are all guilty of using words that come with our own line of work and not explaining them, so in this section we will aim to define and explain some words related to our field!

This week’s word is “WATERSHED”.  A watershed is an area or region of land that is divided by ridges or high points that drains to a body of water.  There can be watersheds inside of watersheds inside of watersheds as an area may be drained by stream (1 watershed), that meets a river (another watershed) that drains to a lake (yet another watershed) that eventually drains to the ocean (the largest of our watersheds).

This image depicts just such a scenario.  The dotted yellow lines show the border of different watersheds.  Although some small watersheds exist, all the water seen here drains to the large body of water at the base of the picture (either a large lake or ocean).

This image shows you the AWWA watersheds.  We work in all these watersheds to prevent erosion and stop polluted runoff from entering these lakes.