What is a Watershed

What is a Watershed

A watershed is an area of land that drains to a particular waterbody.

A watershed is an area of land where all of the rain, snowmelt, and water flowing downhill drain into the same body of water – a river, stream, or lake. Water slides down the sides of the area from the highest point to the bottom of the watershed, like a basin filling with water. On its way, the water travels over the land – across fields, forests, back yards, streets and roads, or seeps into the soil and travels underground (becoming groundwater).

The next time it rains or the snow melts, think about the path the water coming from your home travels. If you live in the White River watershed, it eventually joins the White River and from there travels to the Connecticut River in White River Junction, Vermont. Four major watersheds make up the State of Vermont: the Connecticut River watershed (of which the White River watershed is part), the Lake Champlain watershed, the St. Lawrence watershed, and the Hudson River watershed.