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Watershed Game

Class Details

1.5 Hours

8th Grade to Adult


Learn how human actions impact watersheds.

The Watershed Game is a large-format board game to help students understand the relationship between land uses within a watershed, water quality, and their community. Working in teams, students apply tools (prevention, practices, plan, and policies) to decrease water pollution while balancing financial resources. The goal of the activity is to reduce nonpoint source water pollution from various land uses to the stream without going broke.

Lesson Plan


  1. A watershed is the area of land that drains to a particular lake, river, or stream.
  2. Phosphorus and sediment levels can impact the health of a watershed if they are too high and unbalanced.
  3. Citizens, organizations, and governments cooperate to make decisions about land use while factoring in economics and water quality.


  • Understand that sediment and phosphorus are natural parts of healthy ecosystems.
  • Describe how human activities associated with various land uses within a watershed may pollute a stream with excess sediment or phosphorus.
  • Practice working cooperatively in Land Use Teams to evaluate the costs and benefits of tools that can decrease pollution.