Indian Creek Watershed Association (ICWA) has been an active watershed organization since 1996. Our focus and mission is “The preservation and protection of Monroe County’s abundant, pure water.” Our members come from all walks of life including the public and private sectors, self-employed and retired individuals, outdoor enthusiasts, old time families and newcomers, farmers, homemakers, school employees, social workers and historians. We are fortunate to have a strong core of individuals who are extremely interested in how the quality of our waters impacts the well being of area citizens and we continue to seek out ways to expand our membership.
Water is essential for life. It is in constant motion, running over and through the earth in groundwater, creeks, streams and rivers, collecting in lakes and ponds, and flowing into the oceans. Along the way, it evaporates into the air and returns to the earth as rain, ice and snow.
A watershed is an area of land that acts like a funnel, collecting all of the water that falls from the sky and delivering it back into a common body of water. Most of the water that falls on Monroe County flows west into the New River. Indian Creek and Rich Creek flow directly into the New, while waters from Second Creek and Wolf Creek get to the New by way of the Greenbrier River. A small amount of water in the eastern part of the county flows eastward into the James River. The water we drink and use in Monroe County comes out of our watersheds from springs and wells tapped into groundwater.
Unlike 90% of all watersheds on earth, our water runs through karst formation. Karst is a landscape with sinkholes and caves caused by underground erosion of limestone bedrock. Cracks and hollows in the limestone create underground streams and aquifers that allow surface water to rapidly join with ground water. There are both advantages and disadvantages to living on karst formation. Water in our area is abundant. Unlike some other watersheds, our ground water is rapidly replenished by surface water. However, in other watersheds toxins and other contaminants are filtered out of surface water as it works it way slowly through the soil and rock into the ground water. Flowing through relatively hollow karst, contaminants can be rapidly dumped directly into our groundwater. People living in a karst region need to educate themselves and their neighbors about the nature of their water source and work together to protect the quality of their water.