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River watersheds

One county, two river watersheds
Creeks flow into larger rivers. But not all streams in Charlotte-Mecklenburg flow into the same river. That’s because our creeks don’t all flow in the same direction. 

        • Streams in the western two-thirds of the county flow to the Catawba River. 
        • Streams in the eastern third of Charlotte-Mecklenburg flow to the Yadkin River, then the Pee-Dee.

The Catawba and Yadkin Watersheds are river watersheds.

Eventually, water in all Charlotte-Mecklenburg creeks flows to the Atlantic Ocean. But because of our many creek and river watersheds, raindrops that fall in different parts of Charlotte-Mecklenburg take many different paths to the ocean.
One County, two river watersheds

More about the Catawba Watershed

More about the Yadkin-Pee Dee Watershed

North Carolina’s river watersheds
North Carolina has 17 river watersheds. Some start as tiny mountain streams in the Appalachians. Others flow into marshy sounds and bays at the coast.

North Carolina’s rivers don’t all flow in the same direction. Five mountain watersheds drain westward to the Mississippi River. Five watersheds, including the Catawba and Yadkin, drain into South Carolina. Seven North Carolina watersheds flow directly into the Atlantic Ocean.

Learn more about our state’s river watersheds

Map of North Carolina