DeKalb County Watersheds, DeKalb County Illinois

Welcome to DeKalb County’s Watersheds

We represent the county’s efforts to effectively plan how we use the rain/snow we receive in DeKalb County, IL. We also represent the counties, municipalities, landowners, Soil and Water Districts, and landowners within the region.  As you can see from the map, watersheds do not follow these jurisdictions.  Water has its own map and we benefit when we follow it!

Test Your Water Free, confidential water testing beginning April 26th

Students in the riverWhat is a Watershed?

DeKalb County Watersheds Map

We know where we live, the street, town, state, ZIP code, but did you know you live in a watershed as well?  A watershed is the land surface where all of the water that falls on it drains off into the same place. Watersheds can be as small as your back yard or large enough to encompass all the land that drains water into rivers that drain into bigger rivers and ultimately into the Gulf of Mexico. The word ‘watershed’ is sometimes used interchangeably with drainage basin or catchment. Ridges and hills that separate two watersheds are called the drainage divide.

In DeKalb County, we have two main watersheds, one surrounding the Kishwaukee River and the other around the Fox River. The watershed consists of surface water--lakes, streams, reservoirs, and wetlands. Larger watersheds contain many smaller watersheds. It all depends on the outflow point; all of the land that drains water to the outflow point is the watershed for that outflow location. Watersheds are important because the streamflow and the water quality of a river are affected by activities, human-induced or not, happening in the land area "above" the river-outflow point.

Description: pictorial display of a watershed

We hope to provide information about the watersheds in our community via this website.  Please investigate the Best Management Practices page for ideas to improve our watersheds and the Projects page to find out what is happening in your area.