|What Is A Watershed?|
watershed describes an area of land that contains a common set of streams
and rivers that all drain into a single larger body of water, such as a
larger river, a lake or an ocean. For example, the Mississippi River watershed
is an enormous watershed. All the tributaries to the Mississippi that collect
rainwater eventually drain into the Mississippi, which eventually drains
into the Gulf of Mexico. Rainwater that falls on more than half of the
United States subsequently drains into the Mississippi.
For one, they affect water quality. Think about it... The water that runs off the surface of the Earth picks up water pollution and deposits the pollution in streams and rivers as it drains the watershed. Along with many different types of pollution that are carried by surface runoff, soil also becomes a water pollutant as it is eroded from farm lands. Water that filters through the soil can also become contaminated with pollution that is left over from agricultural, industrial, commercial, and other types of human activity.
The network of streams and rivers that drain our watershed and carry water pollution ultimately empty into larger bodies of water, such as lakes and oceans. As the larger rivers carrying water pollution from the land flow into lakes and oceans, all of the pollution that was in the rivers now is concentrated into these other bodies of water. The oceans of the world become the final resting place for tons of pollution. Through our watersheds, pollution is distributed far away from its original source. And oviously, polluted water affects water quality.