Understanding Your Watershed
What is a Watershed and Why do They Matter?
A watershed is the land area from which surface water drains into a common stream channel, lake, reservoir, or other body of water. It is the geographical area of land that collects, stores, and transports water. Watersheds are "nested", with many small watersheds comprising larger watersheds. No matter where you are on land, you are in a watershed.
Everything we do in a watershed effects the water quality:
The water from your tap and in nearby lakes or streams is part of a much larger water system. While not everyone lives next to a pond or stream, we all live in a watershed.
Common activities like driving your car or hiking along a river can affect water quality. By paying careful attention to how you manage activities around your home and in places you like to visit, you can protect your watershed and the water you drink. Find out some ways you can help.
Watersheds are very important systems, if you would like to learn more see the resources below.
- Visit Swaner EcoCenter in Park City, Utah to see a River Runs Through Us, our new interactive flatscreen display about East Canyon Creek and its watershed. Click here to see the display online. (Use Chrome for best results. You cannot view videos on the online version).
- View our Watershed 101 presentation. It's full of useful information and is a great way to learn about what a watershed really is.
- Volunteer with Utah Water Watch: For a lot of people volunteering with UWW has been a great way to become involved in their watershed so why not for you?
- Take a look at our Educator Resources page for lesson plans, trainings and workshops, and other resources. This is especially helpful if you are a teacher or other educator.
- Visit the Bear River Information System website for detailed information about all aspects of this river's watershed, including maps, data and contact information for hundreds of resources in the 3 state watershed.
- To find out more about a specific stream or other water body in Utah also check out the Beneficial Uses and Water Quality Assessment Map created by the Division of Water Quality.
The following fact sheets explain different elements of your watershed: