What is Watershed Management?

Watershed management is a proactive approach that coordinates land use and water management decisions to protect water resources and help communities define and prioritize local needs in relation to regional issues and goals.

Keeping watersheds healthy is important for the same reasons as keeping our bodies healthy; once they begin to deteriorate, vital functions are lost and their condition steadily worsens.

When a watershed is degraded, a degenerative cycle unfolds. The watershed becomes less resilient, less stable and less productive. At a point, the watershed’s health is so diminished that it no longer maintains the natural processes and services we depend on.

Watersheds maintain the health of forests, fisheries, wetlands, coastal resources, agricultural landscapes, habitat and local communities in California. Protecting watersheds ensures a sustainable environment that supports recreational activities and a healthy economy that makes California a desirable place to live.