Watersheds

Surface Water Watersheds

Watersheds

Everyone lives in a watershed. A watershed is the land area that contributes water to a location, usually a stream, pond, lake or river. Everything that we do on the surface of our watershed impacts the water quality of our streams, wetlands, ponds, lakes and rivers. What happens in one locality affects other downstream areas.

Sandpit Lake Basics – Where does the water come from?

Lakes are classified in a number of ways to help us understand how they function, make predictions, assess ecosystem health, and establish management strategies or regulations.  They are most commonly classified by the lake’s ability to support plant and animal life, or productivity. They can also be classified based on the water supply, how humans use them, plant and animal communities, or how they were formed (e.g.  glacier retreating, volcanic eruption, made by man).

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Stream Biological Monitoring

Rivers and streams are complex. They are filled with a dizzying array of life, from relatively simple bacteria and algae to more complex forms such as plants, insects, and fish. When everything is working well, rivers provide many benefits to society, including fishing and other recreation opportunities, drinking water, irrigation, and transportation. However, there are also many ways that people can disrupt the natural functioning of rivers. For example, it may be necessary for cities to build systems that rapidly remove rain water to prevent flooding damage to homes and businesses.

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Introduction to Watersheds

Everyone lives in a watershed. A watershed is the land area that contributes water to a location, usually a stream, pond, lake or river. Everything that we do on the surface of our watershed impacts the water quality of our streams, wetlands, ponds, lakes and rivers. What happens in one locality affects other downstream areas.

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Focused Watershed Projects

Focused watershed projects bring together the combined resources and knowledge of many agencies and organizations to solve local watershed issues. Focused watershed projects that involve University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension include the following. (By clicking on the linked titles you may go to the individual project Web site.)

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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?

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