No matter where you live, the place that you call home is situated in a watershed: a land area that drains to a central location, such as a lake, river, or ocean. You can think of it as a shallow depression or bowl in the landscape, where the “rim” is a ridge or hill: even if your home is situated on the rim of the bowl, water washing off of your neighborhood is draining to the same place as areas on the opposite side of the bowl—everything is connected.
Small watersheds make up larger watersheds. In fact, here in Southwest Ohio we are a part of the Ohio River Basin Watershed which drains to the Ohio River, Mississippi River and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico. John Wesley Powell, scientist geographer, described watersheds as, “That area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.” Watersheds come in all shapes and cross county, state, and national boundaries. In the continental US, there are 2,110 watersheds; including Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico, there are 2,267 watersheds. For more information on the Ohio River Basin watershed check out, https://www.savelocalwaters.org/ohio-river-basin.html.
With this understanding that our water system is all interconnected, we can grasp that our actions affecting water in a smaller watershed can lead to issues in a larger watershed. Runoff from fields, lawns, and pavement could carry potentially harmful materials from our watersheds to our rivers and end up in our oceans. Even if you live, work, or play far from a river, your actions could have an impact on the quality of the water far from the initial source. To research your watershed, check out the Environmental Protection Agencies - How's My Waterway interactive website - https://mywaterway.epa.gov/.
For more questions regarding Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District programs and/or technical assistance on water or soil questions, visit http://warrenswcd.com or call, 513-695-1337.
Warren County SWCD Staff Blog
A blog to keep you informed on all the latest news at Warren County SWCD and in the conservation world.