The relative proportion of salt in a solution, typically measured in g/l, or parts per thousand (ppt). Seawater is typically around 335 ppt.


Local removal of soil, sediment, or other channel material from a streambed by flowing water. .


Fragmented material that originated from weathering rocks and decomposing organic material that is transported by, suspended in, and eventually deposited in the streambed.


Occurs when sediment particles that have been suspended within flowing water are deposited on the stream bottom or floodplain.


A flow process associated with broad, shallow water movement on sloping ground surfaces that is not channelized or concentrated.


St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative


Semisolid material such as the type precipitated by sewage treatment. Mud, mire, or ooze covering the ground or forming a deposit, as on a riverbed.

Source Water

The point at which water springs into being or from which it derives or is obtained. The point of origin, such as a spring, of a stream or river.


A point where ground water emerges (or seeps out) onto the surface of the ground, often forming the beginning of a stream.


Runoff water that results from a storm (usually rainfall) event.


Includes all rivers, creeks, brooks, tributaries and other flowing surface waters within a natural channel. More specifically, a perennial, intermittent, or ephemeral watercourse having a defined channel (excluding man-made ditches) which contains flow from surface and/or ground water sources during at least a portion of an average rainfall year. .

Stream Discharge

Quantity of stream flow per unit of time, generally expressed as cubic feet per second (CFS).

Stream Order

A numerical system (ranking from headwaters to river terminus) used to designate the relative position of a stream or stream segment in a drainage basin.


The portion of the channel cross-section that restricts lateral movement of water at normal water levels.

Surface Water

Water that is on Earth’s surface, such as in a stream, river, lake, or reservoir. A natural or artificial pond or lake used for the storage and regulation of water. .


The state in which the particles of a substance are mixed with a liquid but are not dissolved.


A depression or wide shallow ditch used to temporarily store, route, infiltrate, filter, or convey runoff.


Soil & Water Assessment Tool


Soil and Water Conservation District


Source Water Protection Initiative