Water Budget

An accounting of the movement of water through the components of the hydrologic cycle in a watershed, including precipitation, evapo-transpiration, surface runoff, ground water recharge, and ground water discharge to stream baseflow.

Water Quality

A state of water represented by a combination of productivity, chemistry, cleanliness and recreational potential. .

Water Table

The upper-most level of saturation of pore space or fractures by subsurface water in an aquifer.

Water Treatment

Systematic purification of water for human consumption.


The land area that drains water into a particular stream, river or lake. It is a land feature that can be identified by tracing a line along the highest elevations between two areas on a map, often a ridge. Large watersheds, like the Mississippi River basin, contain thousands of smaller watersheds.

Watershed Management

Coordinated assessment and characterization of watershed conditions, and planning and implementation of strategies, approaches, tools, and techniques to protect and enhance the quality and quantity of water resources while achieving desired land and water uses.


Low-lying areas inundated or saturated by water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support wetland vegetation (e.g. wetlands include such areas as swamps, marshes and wet meadows). Wetlands remove pollutants through a series of chemical, physical and biological mechanisms.