What is a watershed?


A watershed is a geographic area of land across which water flows on its way to a common outlet — a stream, lake or river. Everyone lives in a watershed: even if a stream is not in your backyard you live in a watershed. Watersheds can be many different sizes: varying from the largest river basins to just a few acres in size. Because they are determined by topography, watersheds often cross political boundaries. A watershed includes not only the land within its boundaries but also the surface water (lakes, streams and wetlands) and the groundwater. In this way, watersheds provide a natural link between the land, water resources and the living things, including people, within them. How we occupy and manage the land directly affects the quality and quantity of our water resources.

Major Watersheds of Delaware County


Watershed Background Information

Watershed Management Program

The Delaware County Conservation District’s Watershed Specialist provides technical, informational and organizational assistance that will improve watershed organization development and the quality and quantity of the Commonwealth’s surface and groundwater resources.  The focus of this work relates to watershed assessment, procurement of funding, technical assistance and the creation, implementation & coordination of work plans and strategies to restore and protect groundwater and surface water resources.

The Watershed Specialist is a resource to both the public and private sectors.  Watershed Specialists help local groups protect and improve their watersheds; provide advice to farmers and landowners for conservation practices; work with Department of Environmental Protection regional watershed coordinators on all proposals and projects; and help support local Growing Greener projects in their counties.

Watershed Specialist positions were created by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) in 1999.  The creation of these positions originated out of a need to assist in the development of watershed organizations and grassroots watershed efforts.

USGS Stream Gage Data (Real Time Stream Flows and Other Data)

PA DEP Bureau of Point and Non-Point Source Management Website (Chapter 93 Water Quality Standards and List of Impaired Waters): http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/water_quality_standards/10556