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A watershed or basin is all the land that drains to the same body of water, such as a lake or river. The Watershed Planning Act (WPA) of 1998 provided ten years of grants for local citizens groups and lead agencies to develop and implement watershed plans in partnership with the Washington Department of Ecology.
These plans provide water and land use managers with long term blueprints to protect existing water rights and with better information to make water right decisions.
Plans have been completed that cover all or parts of 37 out of 62 watersheds in Washington. However, without additional state money provided to local governments through an amendment of the WPA, full-scale implementation of many watershed plans will be difficult at best for cash-strapped local governments and improved watershed management will be delayed in these basins.
> > Learn more about the Watershed Planning Act.