My Basin photo identifier

My Basin

We all live in a watershed.

We all live in a watershed — the area that drains to a common waterway, such as a stream, lake, estuary, wetland, aquifer, or even the ocean — and our individual actions can directly affect it. Working together using a watershed approach will help protect our nation's water resources.

A basin is a land feature that can be identified by tracing a line along the highest elevations between two areas on a map, often a ridge. Large drainage basins, like the area that drains into the Puget Sound contain thousands of smaller drainage basins.

  • Columbia River - Ecology is directed to aggressively pursue development of water supplies to benefit both instream and out-of-stream water uses through implementation of the Columbia River Basin Water Management Program.
  • Green-Duwamish River - This large river, 65 miles in length, is called the Green River upstream of Tukwila (River Mile 12) and the Duwamish River downstream to Elliott Bay. The watershed is characterized by many land uses including urban development, agricultural production, and native fisheries.
  • Puget Sound - Puget Sound needs our help. Governor Chris Gregoire and the Legislature have made it a state priority to engage citizens, community organizations, Tribes and government at every level in restoring Puget Sound and Hood Canal to a healthy condition by 2020.
  • Spokane River - The Spokane River is spectacular as it roars through downtown Spokane at high flow. It's a sight that attracts tens of thousands of visitors a year. But that same water also contains high levels of hazardous pollutants that may harm our health and could affect the aquifer that provides drinking water.
  • Yakima River - Current and historical information relating to Yakima River basin water management, water right changes and transfers, trust water right acquisition and management, and water banking.
Spokane River at Riverfront Park, photo courtesy of the WA Secretary of State


Learn what Ecology is doing to protect Washington's water supplies.


Local watershed plans, for managing water resources and for protecting existing water rights, are vital to both state and local interests.


Information about using the watershed framework to manage water supplies, from the EPA


Many of Washington State′s urban waters are filled with dangerous chemicals from industrial sources, contaminated sites, stormwater, municipal wastewater, and businesses that use hazardous wastes.