A watershed is an area of land that drains downhill into a body of water. This receiving body of water can be a stream, river, lake, spring, cave, ocean, etc. Watersheds are also referred to as springsheds, catchments, or catchment basins. They are significant in the study of hydrology because whatever falls as precipitation or pollution in the watershed, eventually ends up in the receiving body of water. Watershed studies are also critical to the study of species protection because it is important to recognize that the habitat often extends far beyond where the organism is originally found.
For example, all of the area highlighted in Figure 1 is the springshed for Wekiwa, Rock, and Apopka Blue Sink.
Figure 2 outlines the watershed for the Wekiva River System. All of the precipitation that falls within this blue line ends up in the Wekiva River, as do any human activities that may impact ground and surface waters.
Figures courtesy, Lou Ley, Florida Department of Environmental Protection