W: Please define a watershed from the POV of a civil engineer and a water rights activist!
R: A watershed to a civil engineer is a calculation of dynamic forces; a spatial unit of cumulative measures following rivers systems to a common basin. An engineer is looks at a watershed in terms of flow, hydraulics, pollutant loads inputs, land use cover and flooding potentials.
A water rights activist would define a watershed as a planning unit, a geographical area in which stakeholders who inputs affect downstream basins. Either way, a watershed is a map of geographical inputs which during storm events, flow into a common basin, such as San Francisco Bay. All water flows downhill, and therefore thinking like a watershed promotes the idea that all upstream land uses affect the downstream business and ecology downstream.
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