Ohio State University Extension http://ohiowatersheds.osu.edu

Ohio Watershed Network

Ohio State University Extension

Headwaters

 

webpic7.jpgHere you will notice that we are at the highest point in the watershed where the water that falls on the land as precipitation begins its journey down the valley.

Headwater streams are many, but they are also the smallest streams in the watershed - some only a few inches wide, the largest only a few feet wide. The land here is often steep and the water may run fast, forming small waterfalls and pools. Headwater streams may form from surface runoff, melting snow, or groundwater that seeps out to the surface as springs.

webpic5.jpgMost of the water you will see later in the lakes and rivers downstream is the result of the collected water from hundreds and even thousands of small headwater streams. For this reason, what happens to and on the land surrounding the headwaters affects the quality of the rivers and lakes hundreds of miles away!

Now, on to the Middle Reaches!