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Watershed Definition

A watershed is a large area of land that drains into a body of water. For example, rain in a watershed flows into a single river.

View Lesson on Water Quality & Distribution
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Water Quality & Distribution

Fun Facts

  • Agricultural runoff can contaminate water with fertilizers and pollutants.
  • Polluted runoff can create dead zones in oceans where marine life can't survive.
  • Storm drains carry pollution from streets into bodies of water.

Why Do We Need To Know About Watershed

Learning about watersheds helps us understand how the quality of water affects the environment and our health. It’s important for many jobs, not just for scientists who study water, but also for people who work to keep our water clean. Groups like Heal the Bay use this knowledge to keep an eye on water health, which helps keep people safe and protects nature.

Jobs in designing water cleaning technologies and managing how water is cleaned also depend on knowing about watersheds. This shows how knowing about watersheds is helpful for many different kinds of work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Dr. Jeff mention the presence of dead zones when talking about water quality?
Dead zones are areas where algae blooms grow. These blooms grow because polluted runoff reaches the ocean. Poor water quality can cause these blooms to form.
How did the team describe the three stages of a water filter?
The first stage separates out large particles from getting into water. The second stage has fine pieces of carbon. This helps absorb impurities in the water. The last stage consists of a fine mesh that takes out extremely small particles from the water.
How is water distributed on earth in terms of freshwater and saltwater?
97% of all the water on Earth is saltwater while only 3% is freshwater. This means bodies of water like rivers and lakes are part of the 3% while oceans make up the 97%.
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