The USFS research station near Asheville has been recording watershed data every five minutes since 1934. The information reveals a lot about drought issues.
What’s a watershed anyway?
Watersheds come in many shapes and sizes. That’s because Mother Nature doesn’t recognize city, county, state or national boundaries. It’s the geography and the contours of the land that determine where the water drains.
And that’s the key to understanding the concept of a watershed. A watershed is an area of land where all of the water that is above ground and even below ground drains into the same place.
Here’s a little science observation for you.
Look out the window the next time it rains. Spend a few minutes looking at the streets and the parking lots. Watch all the water flowing into the storm drain.
Now look at the grass. You’ll have a tough time spotting any water flowing out of there. Now you can understand the challenges facing scientists as they study the health of tidal creeks in North Carolina. The amount of stormwater runoff has a tremendous effect on water quality.