What is Watershed?

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What is Watershed?
A watershed is a piece of land where water drains off of it and goes into the same place. Watersheds come in a bunch of different forms and sizes. Just in the United States alone there are more than two thousand different water sheds.

In North America a watershed is known as a drainage basin. This is where a specific part of land, which is above the water, has all the water that is on it, such as rain and melting ice, meet at one place. Once the water is all together it usually flows into another body of water such as a river or ocean. The watershed works very simply. All it does is get all the water together and directs it into a larger body of water. In closed watersheds the water may all be routed somewhere underground in some cases.

Usually watersheds route the water to oceans more often than any other of the bodies of water. Even most of the seas and rivers are routed to connect with one of the oceans. Out of all of the oceans the Atlantic Ocean is the one that water is routed to most often. Almost 50% of the water that is drained from off land is routed to this ocean. The next ocean that water is routed to the most is the Pacific Ocean however just over 10% of the water is routed there. Also just about 20% of the water is routed to other bodies of water such as seas and lakes.

In all other places besides North America a watershed is used to keep neighboring watersheds from connecting. There are three types of watersheds outside of North America. The first is continental divide. The second is major watershed divide. Lastly, there is minor watershed divide.

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