Everyone lives in a watershed though many of us never realize it. Each time it rains, water has to go somewhere.  Simply put, a watershed includes all of the land that drains (or "sheds") into a body of water.  As rainwater flows to the closest body of water, it comes in contact with anything we pour or place onto the ground.  This body of water could be your favorite creek or pond where you skip rocks, the river where you and your family fish, the drinking water source for your town, or the ocean you enjoy visiting during family vacations.

The Economic Benefits of Protecting Healthy Watersheds

Protecting our nation’s healthy watersheds makes economic sense

Healthy intact watersheds provide many ecosystem services that are necessary for our social and economic well-being. These services include water filtration and storage, air filtration, carbon storage, nutrient cycling, soil formation, recreation, food and timber. Many of these services have not been monetized and therefore the economic contributions of healthy intact ecosystems are often under-valued when making land use decisions. Ecosystem services provided by healthy watersheds are difficult to replace and most often very expensive to engineer (see chart). An engineered ecosystem service replacement may
only provide a fraction of the services provided by highly functioning natural systems.

Download the EPA Document.