Conserving Land • Protecting Resources
Since 1987

As of January 1, 2024, the Rensselaer Land Trust has merged with the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance. For all questions regarding donations, events, land, or other matters, please visit or call 518-712-9211. For questions about the merger, use extension 101 to speak with Jim Bonesteel. You can expect a new name and logo for our merged organization by Spring / Summer 2024 and a new website by the end of the year!

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Where does your water come from?

seven clean buttonVisit our interactive map to find out, or download our watershed brochure (PDF).

Clean water is a priceless natural resource. The quality and purity of water directly depends on the land use, soils, and level of development of the watershed through which the water passes. Watershed health is especially important for reservoirs, lakes, rivers, and groundwater aquifers that serve as sources of drinking water.

A watershed is all the land from which water flows to a given point or area. For example, the Tomhannock watershed is all the land from which water drains into Tomhannock Creek and or the Tomhannock Reservoir. The water can enter the watershed as rain or snow, or as water discharged as a result of human activity. The water travels through the watershed on the ground, in streams, through the soil, or via groundwater.

Healthy watersheds contain areas of intact native vegetation, such as forests and wetlands, that provide clean water. Forests hold water and act as erosion and sediment controls, water filters, and groundwater rechargers. Wetlands filter pollutants, help control floodwaters, and recycle nutrients.

Learn more about Rensselaer County watersheds and water districts at our interactive map.