I came across with the best definition of watershed lately in my quest for answers to questions related to the Geothermal issue in my hometown Bulusan. The definition was the simplest yet the most enlightening in the course of my search for answers.
What is a Watershed?
A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place. John Wesley Powell, scientist geographer, put it best when he said that a watershed is:
“that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.” (Source:http://water.epa.gov/type/watersheds/whatis.cfm)
This definition makes sense in this paragraph detailing the effects of Geothermal energy extraction in a rainforest that says:
“Geothermal wells disrupt the natural water cycles of rain forest ecosystems, which can be quite fragile. The deforestation that occurs in the immediate vicinity of the wells leads to erosion and disruption of streams and rivers. The wells affect underground aquifers and can change the direction of underground water flows. The continuous usage of deep water sources can change the temperature and composition of aquifers, leading to disruption of water distribution on the surface where trees, other plants and animals are dependent on it.”
Photos: Alma P. Gamil
Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines