watershed diagram

A watershed is an area of land that drains or "sheds" water into a specific waterbody. Watersheds drain rainfall and snowmelt into streams and rivers. These smaller bodies of water flow into larger ones, including lakes, bays, and oceans. Gravity helps to guide the path that water takes across the landscape.

Not all rain or snow falling on a watershed flows out this way. Some seeps into the ground. It goes into underground reservoirs called aquifers. Other precipitation ends up on hard surfaces such as roads and parking lots, from which it may enter storm drains that feed into streams.

Watershed management is a term that describes the use of land, forest, and water resources in ways that strikes a balance between human uses of the land and protection of the natural environment. Watershed management may include goals and processes such as reducing the amount of pesticides and fertilizers that wash off farm fields and into nearby waterbodies. Watershed management is closely linked to conservation.

Find Your Watershed

Find Your Watershed


  1. Type in your address.
  2. Scroll down the left-hand sidebar of the page to view your watershed.
  3. See your major, secondary, and immediate watersheds. See where your rainwater goes and who it impacts!
Boone County, Missouri watershed map