A catchment, also known as watershed or drainage catchment, is an area of land surrounded by natural high features such as hills or mountains. Some of the runoff from rainwater in this area will flow to a low point like a stream or river and eventually to the ocean or an inland lake and the rest will infiltrate into the ground to become groundwater.

Image: Murray Darling Basin Authority

Victorian Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994

The Victorian Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 defines a catchment as "an area which, through run-off or percolation, contributes to the water in a stream or stream system."

Alternate Uses

The term catchment is also used in a number of situations not associated with drainage. Council facilities for example are sometimes designed to serve a particular catchment. In this case the catchment boundary is defined by distance or travel time rather than elevation - the assumption being if a potential customer has the option of attending one or more similar facilities they will 'gravitate' towards the closest or easiest one to get to.

Related Pages

External Links & References

  1. Healthy Waterways Catchment Fact Sheet
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Murray Darling Basin Authority
  4. Google Search
  5. Victorian Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994
  6. Melbourne Schools Zones


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