Watershed and Water Quality

Attention to Watershed FIRST provides the best chance for Water Quality improvement.

A watershed, defined, is any amount of land that collects water through precipitation and transports it to a common outlet. That common outlet could be a stream, river, or lake. A watershed is simply a term used to describe a transitional downhill area that water collects and flows through to reach its destination, including groundwater. Everything we do affects our watershed, and our watershed affects the quality of all life within it and beyond, which makes it critically important to understand our impact on surrounding freshwater ecosystems.

Water traveling through the watershed is altered in numerous ways throughout its journey. Surface runoff, creeks and ditches pick up all types of organic and inorganic materials. Harmful pollutants, like chemicals, fertilizers and waste are transported into streams and waterbodies throughout the entire watershed, negatively impacting all life along the way. Nutrient pollution, primarily by phosphorous and nitrogen, can disrupt natural life cycles and biodiversity in every habitat that they touch by fueling the growth of nuisance aquatic weeds and algae that the ecosystem cannot naturally manage. For example, cyanobacteria, commonly referred to as blue-green algae, thrive on phosphorous-rich water and can form harmful, potentially toxic blooms that can endanger wildlife, pets, and humans.

It cannot be overstated how much watershed management determines the quality of life and the balance of nature. From direct impacts on property value, outdoor recreation, and flood damage. Everyone should consider themselves a steward of water (and the environment in general). Improving the water quality of nearby lakes, rivers, and streams will go a long way in protecting regional assets and local wildlife—not to mention all the unseen positive effects down the road and into the future.

5-Year Watershed and Lake Management Plan Information

PLM Lake & Land Management

Restorative Lake Sciences (RLS)

Lake Living Care & Education

Widespread global Increase in intense lake phytoplankton blooms since the 1980's
Algal Toxin Monitoring in Michigan Inland Lakes - 2016-2019
Lake Weed Plant Reference Chart
Michigan Watermilfoil Management
Blue-Green Algae Bloom FAQ's

Lake Columbia Property Owners Association

Lake living enjoyment in EVERY season!