Understanding Watersheds

Everyone lives in a watershed! A watershed is an area of land where water flows to the same major body of water, such as a river, lake, or ocean.



Think of a watershed like a bowl, it is surrounded on all sides by higher land. Since watersheds have higher ground all around them, any water that falls anywhere within the watershed flows to the same low point – like the Bee Branch Creek, which is the low point in the Bee Branch Watershed.

A watershed includes the smaller creeks and streams that flow into its big river. It includes the rain that falls, snow that melts on its land, the water we use on our lawns, and the water that pours on our streets. Some of this water soaks into the ground. Some of this water flows over the land and in streets. And, some flows into the storm drains. But all of it eventually flows into one big river and becomes part of it. In Dubuque, all water eventually flows into the Mississippi River!
watershed-like-bowl

Bee Branch Watershed


The Bee Branch Watershed is approximately 6.5 square miles and is located entirely within the city of Dubuque. It has higher ground in the west and lower ground in the east, which creates the watershed. All of the water that falls anywhere within the Bee Branch Watershed flows to the Bee Branch Creek and then to the Mississippi River. See the map below!

BEE BRANCH FACT 
Over 50% of Dubuque residents either work or live in the Bee Branch Watershed.

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Look for Bee Branch Watershed sign posted throughout the watershed! When you see the sign, you know all of the water that falls in that area of Dubuque will flow to the Bee Branch Creek and then to the Mississippi River. Have you seen the Bee Branch Watershed sign? Is there one in your neighborhood?

Helpful Video

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Decoding-Watersheds