Watersheds & The Water Cycle

A watershed is the area of land that drains to a river, creek or lake. We all live in and are connected by watersheds, and to protect water quality and use water wisely, we must understand this ecological neighbourhood. What we do on the land is reflected in the quality and quantity of our drinking water sources.

How It Works

The rain or snow caught by a watershed drains and/or seeps into marshes, streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater. As a drop of water flows across fields, forests and towns and as it joins others in the river, nature, including humans, affects it in many interconnected ways. Each watershed is unique with different features and concerns; they come in all shapes and sizes, and several smaller watersheds may combine to form a larger watershed. While the Essex Region Source Protection Area has 23 sub-watersheds, they collectively drain into three larger watersheds - Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River watersheds.