201 4th Street SE, Room 108
Rochester, MN 55904
Rochester's Water Resources
Rochester's valuable water resources are found on the surface of the earth, underground, in our homes, and running off our landscape. Water moves through the water cycle in nature and is influenced by human actions. Water impacts our daily lives and how we interact with our surroundings. We also impact water quality and how water moves across and within the landscape.
Evaporation. Condensation. Precipitation. Infiltration. Runoff.
The water cycle describes how water changes forms and moves above and below the surface of the Earth. The impacts of development and urbanization have had great impacts on water. The Urban Water Cycle takes into consideration stormwater moving across hard landscapes where it can't soak into the ground, groundwater being pumped to the surface for use in homes and businesses, and wastewater traveling to water treatment plants.
A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that drains off of it goes to the same place—a river, stream or lake. The smallest watersheds are the drainage areas for small streams and lakes. Think about your local creek, river, pond, or lake.
Each small watershed is part of the more extensive watershed for a larger stream or lake in the vicinity. These larger watersheds are, in turn, part of even larger drainage networks, and so on. The largest-scale watershed is called a basin. Minnesota has ten basins, some of which include portions of neighboring states or Canada.