What is a watershed?
A watershed is a drainage area or basin in which all land and water areas drain or flow toward a central collector such as a stream, river, or lake at a lower elevation.
What is a public water supply watershed?
A water-supply watershed is the land area which drains into a surface reservoir or point of water-supply diversion used for public water supply.
What is the relationship between water quality and land use?
The quality of water in any aquatic system correlates to a great extent with the overall degree of development and land-use activity in the drainage basin feeding into it.
What are the best ways to protect water quality?
There are several ways to protect water quality. One is to limit the amount of impervious surface in a drainage basin. Open space and forest land make high quality natural filters. On developed and agricultural land, maintaining conservation buffers not only helps to protect water quality, but also provides habitat for native wildlife. Since surface water quality and ground water quality are inter-dependant, protections set up for public water-supply watershed lands will benefit households dependant on ground water, too. Many financial assistance programs exist for watershed protection.