A watershed is an area of land where all of the water, on it or beneath it, drains into the same place. Watersheds are also referred to as drainage basins. They come in all shapes and sizes. According the U.S. EPA, there are 2,110 watersheds on the continental United States and another 150 on Alaska and Hawaii.
Healthy watersheds are vital for a healthy environment and economy. Our watersheds provide water for drinking, irrigation and industry. We all live on a watershed and we all rely on the water and other natural resources in our watershed. What we do on the land impacts the quality of our water. That is why it so important to be aware of the chemicals and substances we use as they can potentially enter our water supply.
There are several central Indiana environmental leaders, concerned individuals and professionals dedicating their time and energy to improving the environment and water quality. Making improvements to water quality and the environment requires a watershed approach, as it is all ultimately connected.
Eagle Creek Watershed Alliance
The Eagle Creek Watershed Alliance (ECWA) is a broad coalition of individuals, volunteers, foundations, local organizations, utilities, county, state, and federal agencies, and universities working together to improve water quality and the environment of Eagle Creek Watershed.
ECAW Mission: To utilize a holistic approach to watershed management with the ultimate goals of improving water quality, increasing public awareness of watershed water quality, and encouraging stewardship of the watershed's resources.
Upper White River Watershed Alliance
The Upper White River Watershed Alliance (UWRWA), a consortium of local governments, industry leaders, agriculture and the regional community, exists to improve and protect water quality on a local watershed basis by consolidating data, integrating planning and priorities, and encouraging the development of smaller watershed partnerships that can more efficiently implement projects and plans within the larger Upper White Region.
Geist Watershed Alliance
The Geist Watershed Alliance is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization focused on the improvement and protection of Geist Reservoir's water quality. Its membership consists of many types of stakeholders seeking to ensure that the reservoir will remain a healthy recreational and drinking water resource within the central Indiana region.
Morse Waterways Association
The Morse Waterways Associationis a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization promoting safety and the environment within the Morse Reservoir watershed.
Lower Fall Creek Watershed
The Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District received an IDEM 319 grant for the Lower Fall Creek Watershed. The grant is to evaluate Lower Fall Creek and to develop a management plan with the help of neighbors (stakeholders). This work will involve some water testing to determine sources of pollution and other impairments to the water quality. Additionally, current and future land uses will also be considered.
Friends of Pleasant Run
Friends of Pleasant Run is a volunteer organization formed in 2010 to develop a watershed management plan. The goal of the plan is to improve the cleanliness of Pleasant Run Watershed. Activities include simple actions like addressing runoff pollution at home and working to secure grant funds to pay for larger scale activities. The watershed management plan was approved by IDEM in April, and Friends of Pleasant Run is seeking implementation funding through the Clean Water Act and other sources.