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Terms & Synonyms


Official WHO Definition

Other Definitions

A watershed is the total land area that drains water into a given river, lake, estuary or other body of water. A watershed can be quite large (e.g., the Missouri river watershed) or small (e.g., the watershed of a local stream).

A watershed carries water "shed" from the land after rain falls and snow melts. Drop by drop, water is channeled into soils, groundwaters, creeks, and streams, making its way to larger rivers and eventually the sea. Hills organize the land into watersheds.

All land surface is in some watershed because all runoff and groundwater goes somewhere.


Interpretations and Explanations


See Also

World Bank, Montenegro - Tara and Lim River Basin Watershed Management

Community Water Initiative

External Resources

Interactive atlas by IUCN of watersheds in the world

A Special Collection of River Basin Data by EarthTrends


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