Watersheds and Our Water Supply

Healthy watersheds naturally clean, filter, and store water, as well as providing key nutrients and habitat for native flora and fauna, making them vitally important to not only human health, but the health of our entire ecosystem.

Chapman Creek Watershed is a main source of the water supply on the Lower Sunshine Coast. To protect the quality and quantity of our water supply, we need to keep this watershed healthy. In this section of our website we'll share with you how watersheds work, what the challenges are that Chapman Creek Watershed is facing, and how we as a community can help secure water supply for the future.

What is a Watershed?

In simple terms, a watershed is an area of land that encompasses all the water that flows from the tops of the mountains and into a drainage area, such as a lake or the ocean. That water might flow over the surface of the land, in the form of streams or rivers. But it can also seep into the ground, flow underground, and recharge groundwater aquifers.

Healthy watersheds provide many life-giving services such as:

  • Providing healthy drinking water for human consumption
  • Supplying water, habitat, and food sources for native plants and animals
  • Cycling nutrients by moving sediment downstream and converting them into forms that living organisms can use
  • Improving air quality by absorbing pollutants

Impacts on Watersheds

But not all watersheds are healthy. There are many factors that impact the health of a watershed. These include:

  • Climate change
  • Natural disasters such as droughts and floods
  • Land use and development impacts
  • Governance and regulation complexities that impact water usage
  • Unsustainable water usage
  • Water intensive industries
  • Water quality impacts such as resource extraction, agriculture, etc.
  • Pollution to rivers and streams
Happy healthy woman drinking fresh water from a glass outdoor with a green background

Deepen your Understanding

This five-minute video by BC Tomorrow will help you understand watersheds in greater depth.

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