Frequently Asked Questions about Watersheds

What is a watershed?

A watershed is an area of land that drains to a common waterway, such as a stream, lake, estuary, wetland, or, ultimately, the ocean.

Do I live in a watershed?

Yes, everyone lives in a watershed.

How can I find out my watershed address?

Go to the EPA web page Surf Your Watershed

What are water quality protection practices or best management practices?

Water quality protection practices or BMPs are systems, activities and structures that are considered or practiced to prevent runoff pollution. They can be a single practice or a combination of practices.

What is nonpoint source or runoff pollution?

Nonpoint source pollution is a technical term for runoff pollution. Runoff pollution occurs when rainfall, snow melt or excess irrigation flows over land or through the ground and picks up pollutants and deposits them into streams, lakes, ponds, and rivers. It can come from many different sources in the watershed.

What is the Nebraska Community Based Watershed Management Planning Process?

The Community Based Watershed Management Planning Process is a process where local people lead the watershed planning based on locally identified needs. It is a comprehensive problem solving process that integrates social, economic, and ecological concerns.

What is a watershed plan?

A watershed plan is a document that results from the watershed planning process and provides assessment and management information for a geographically defined watershed, including the analyses, actions, participants, and resources related to development and implementation of the plan. These plans provide a road map to help you identify the problems, set goals, and implement solutions in your watershed. EPA has recommended the development of comprehensive watershed plans, particularly for impaired water bodies.

How do I know if a watershed plan exists for my area? Where do I find information about existing plans?

Check with state or local environmental agencies. These groups may be able to tell you whether there is a watershed plan for your area or direct you to the appropriate contacts. Nebraska Assoc. of Natural Resource Districts | Nebraska DNR | NDEQ

Is there an existing step-by-step process that can be followed in developing a watershed plan?

Yes. The Watershed Plan Builder was developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency is available online.

Information presented within the watershed section of this Water Web site has been reviewed by University of Nebraska - Lincoln Watershed Management Team members Steve Tonn, Thomas Franti, Charlie Wortmann and David Shelton.