The ‘shed is an ecological framework that has expanded into a variety of topics. This post attempts to define all of the known ‘sheds and explore how they impact regional issues such as climate change, economics, and health.
- Watershed – this is by far the most well known sort of ‘shed to planners. In North America it is synonymous with a drainage basin or catchment area. In a sense, this is the “original ‘shed” as many people are exposed to this ecological concept before they learn any others.
- The watershed often defines where drinking water, wastewater, and drainage (stormwater management / flood risk) are managed. While these boundaries rarely align neatly with political jurisdictions, other governance structures have been established in key areas to address impacts to these ecological systems.
- Drainage basins don’t typically align neatly with groundwater systems. This can cause confusion in places that rely on groundwater for drinking and irrigation.
- Active environmental management of watersheds didn’t start in the US in earnest until the 1970’s with the Clean Water Act.