Watershed Central is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website was developed to organize information and tools relevant to watershed management from across the country.
Watershed Central allows local watershed managers and the public find tools to assess and manage watersheds across the United States. The wiki component of the website helps to provide a feedback channel to the developers of watershed tools and datasets, identify gaps in the current toolsets available, and allow local-to-local manager exchange and collaboration over lessons learned. The intention at inception was to present decision support tools, models, data, and other resources in a coordinated, integrated manner for watershed management.
Officially unveiled in 2009, Watershed Central was developed by a multidisciplinary team within the EPA in response to an apparent gap in terms of a one-stop shop for watershed tools and data. Over 100 people across state, local, federal, and tribal governments contributed to an online vision for Watershed Central. A key element of the vision was to help managers discover the correct tools to use to support the various steps of developing a watershed management plan, and secondly, to create an environment that would foster the exchange of lessons learned and best management practices across the nation. The Watershed Central website and wiki were designed to embody this vision.
- Provides an integrated water quality assessment and management context for EPA’s watershed tools and science to expedite remediation of American waters.
- Provides a mechanism to document analyses, decisions, and watershed plan effectiveness.
- Builds capacity of local watershed organizations to develop and implement comprehensive watershed management programs to protect and restore water resources.
- Provides a means for improving the consistency and compatibility of various data elements provided by public agencies across the country.
- Supports decreased time-frames for development of scientifically credible and defensible watershed plans.
- Informs the Agency and collaborative agencies regarding research gaps and impact of products.
- Integrates good science with regulatory drivers and social and economic incentives.
- Leverages knowledge and capability across Federal, State, local agencies, tribes, etc.
Watershed Central Wiki
Watershed Central includes an interactive wiki, where users can submit content, provide feedback, ask questions, discover resources provided by wiki members and discuss relevant watershed issues. The wiki is a central location on the web for sharing watershed information and management tools.
What is a Watershed?
A watershed or drainage basin is the area of land that provides water to a stream, river, reservoir, lake, or estuary. John Wesley Powell, scientist geographer, put it best when he said that a watershed is:
"That area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community."
Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes. They cross county, state, and national boundaries. In the continental US, there are 2,110 watersheds; including Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico, there are 2,267 watersheds.
- Lehman, S (2008-07-26). "Watershed Central - A Web Site to Find and Use Watershed Information" Paper presented Soil and Water Conservation Society meeting in Tucson, Arizona. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- (2009-03-2006). "EPA Releases "Watershed Central" Web Site and a "Watershed Wiki"" FedCenter. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- US EPA (2009-08-05). "WatershedCentral:About" Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- USEPA (2009-07-22)."What is a Watershed?" Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- US EPA (2009-07-22)."What is a Watershed?" Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 2009-08-20.