What Is a Watershed?

The health of an ecosystem is only as good as that of its creeks and rivers:  watersheds matter.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, “A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place.”

John Wesley Powell, U.S. soldier and geologist in the 1800s, discovered and floated down the Colorado River with one arm; he defined a watershed 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.”

In the Santa Monica Mountains, local agencies including cities, counties, state and national parks, environmental organizations, and community groups work together linked by common water courses to protect and preserve our watersheds. Stakeholders have worked together sucessfully for consensus-based watershed planning.