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Watershed Teams

You’ve probably heard of a toolshed or a gardening shed, but what’s a “watershed?”

Nope, it’s not a place out in the backyard to store your water. A watershed is actually an area of land that collects rain and snow and drains into a marsh, stream, river, lake, or groundwater. (Do you know what groundwater is? Groundwater is water within the earth that supplies wells and springs.) Read more about watersheds on the Environmental Protection Agency site.

Protecting our watershed is an important part of keeping our water supply clean. Why? Well, since our street, yards, playgrounds, industrial areas, and lakes and rivers are all part of the watershed, all the trash that gets into our streams and the dirt we dump there will eventually end up in our water supply.

The Tennessee River watershed drains water from parts of seven states into streams and rivers that empty into the Tennessee River.

To help keep the water clean, TVA set up watershed teams. Each one helps protect the area in and around the TVA reservoirs in different parts of the Tennessee Valley. The scientists, engineers, environmentalists, and other experts on these teams work with other organizations, businesses, and communities (including Scout troops, schools, and neighborhood associations) to find ways to improve water quality.

Watershed teams help carry out the Clean Water Initiative, which TVA set up in 1992. This program works to make sure people and wildlife have the clean water they need. Together TVA watershed teams and their partners have:

  • Developed the Clean Marina Initiative to help marinas control pollution in lakes
  • Participated in the national Clean Boating Campaign to teach boaters about pollution control
  • Developed new ideas for farms and cities that help reduce water pollution
  • Healed eroded land and stabilized stream banks that were eroding
  • Planted vegetation and built structures to improve water habitats
  • Collected waste and litter from stream banks and shores.

Read more about TVA’s clean water efforts.