A river basin is the land that water flows across or under on its way to a river. Just as a bathtub catches all the water that falls within its sides, a river basin sends all the water falling on the surrounding land into a central river and out to an estuary or the sea.
Everyone lives in a river basin, even if you don't live near the water. The land that we live on eventually drains to a river or estuary or lake, and our actions on that land affect water quality and quantity far downstream. The topography of each basin determines the area that it drains, and for North Carolina, whether that water flows into the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.
Learn more about river basins through the resources below!
The Office of EE, in partnership with other DEQ divisions including the Division of Water Resources and the Wildlife Resources Commission, has created informative river basin education materials that can be ordered free of charge. Click the links below for electronic versions of the materials or fill out this order form to have print copies sent to you in the mail, free of charge!
Discover NC's River Basins, a booklet with information on what river basins are, why they matter and how people affect them.
Discover Your Ecological Address Whether you live in a busy city, on a farm in the country or somewhere in between, you have an ecological address.
Click here to see official water quality plans for each of the river basins from the Division of Water Resources, N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.