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is a watershed?
watershed is a geographic area of land across which water, and the
sediments and dissolved materials it contains, flow on their way to a single common outlet -- a stream, lake or river.
can be compared to a huge basin collecting all the precipitation that falls within it and carrying this to
the common outlet. A watershed includes not only the land within its boundaries but also the surface
water of lakes, streams and wetlands as well as the groundwater moving beneath the surface. Watersheds vary from the largest river basins to just a few
acres in size.
Watersheds are natural systems that link
the land and water resources and the living organisms, including people,
within its boundaries. How we live on the land affects the quality and
quantity of water resources within the watershed.
are natural systems which should link the political
communities within its boundaries. Only humans, as a
community can come together to protect and conserve the
quality and quantity of our watershed resources for the
Watershed boundaries are not drawn by humans or political processes;
they are defined by natural drainage systems with changes in
topography (elevation) being the main determining factor in setting the
boundaries. The water that travels within a watershed does not
recognize property, municipal, county, state or even international
In Pennsylvania 95% of our land drains into
three major watersheds, The Delaware, The Susquehanna
and The Ohio, and parts of three others, The Genesee, The Potomac, and Lake Erie. These watersheds are so
large they are generally referred to as "basins" rather than watersheds.
For statistics on Pennsylvania's river
basins, please click here.
In Pike County, there are eighteen
sub-basins or watersheds which are all part of the overall Delaware River Basin. Each of Pike's eighteen
watersheds are made up of smaller watershed drainages.
Major River Basins
watersheds are so large they are generally referred to as
"basins" rather than watersheds.