A watershed is the area of land that catches rain and snow which drains or seeps into a marsh, stream, river, lake, or groundwater. Tributaries are smaller streams that flow into other larger streams. The Beaver Lake Watershed drains to Beaver Lake, the drinking water source for Northwest Arkansas. To put it another way, overall in a five-county area (Washington, Benton, Madison, Carroll and Boone), about 420,000 people get their drinking water from drinking water utilities who take water from Beaver Lake — that’s 1 in 7 Arkansans. Protecting this watershed is a key element of the Beaver Water District’s Source Water Protection Plan. In 2006, Beaver Water District partnered with Audubon Arkansas to create maps of the Beaver Lake Watershed and its subwatersheds. These maps and information panels provide key educational concepts and ideas for teachers, students, young people, policymakers, and the general public. Providing high quality drinking water starts with protecting the source of that water, which is the first step in the multiple-barrier approach. Beaver Water District’s commitment is to lead the citizens, businesses and communities of Northwest Arkansas to cooperatively maintain the quality of Beaver Lake for all generations.