© Mike Norton (Colorado)

Watersheds in Colorado

What is a Watershed?

A watershed, also referred to as a “drainage basin,” is an area of land from which rainfall and/or snowmelt drains into a stream or other water body. Ridges of higher ground generally form the boundaries between watersheds. At these boundaries, rain falling on one side flows toward the low point of one watershed, while rain falling on the other side of the boundary flows toward the low point of a different watershed. Large watersheds are usually composed of several smaller “sub-sheds.” 

Colorado's Watersheds

Watersheds function as both a physiographic reality and an important organizing concept for on-the-ground conservation, especially at grassroots community levels. Because the Continental Divide bisects Colorado, we are a headwater state for several major western rivers.  Follow the links below to learn more about Colorado's watersheds and the people working to protect them. 

Colorado Water Conservation Board's River Basin Fact Sheet.  

Click here

Colorado Watershed Assembly

Click here

NRCS Colorado Rapid Watershed Assessment

Click here

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