Importance of groundwater on the management of watersheds

Dear members

I found this instructional video yesterday on the definition of watershed. The video targets middle and high school students, and discusses, amongst others, the function of a watershed and how human actions affect the health of a watershed and the quality of water within it.

I find it beautiful, especially the section about the watershed interactive physical model. Yet, it is not complete, i.e., not a single mention to groundwater, its contribution to water balance in watersheds or its importance on contamination of water bodies. Just watching it, one gets two (wrong) ideas:

1) the concept of watershed is just "geographical/topographical" (in broad terms) and only surface water defines catchments. Wrong! Groundwater plays a very important role as well and, as surface water, it has to be preserved.

2) a watershed is not simply the hydrological unit but also socio-political-ecological entity (see the interesting discussion initiated by Sui Taiwan).

What's your opinion on that?. I insist, the video is incredibly good for students. Initiatives like this one should be more common. Yet, the concepts behind are not complete. I hope we can have here an interesting (and hopefully well populated -even crowded-) discussion on the role of groundwater in watershed management and modelling.

Best regards,