Explore Watershed Health Assessments

View health scores, natural resource features and summary information about Minnesota's watersheds.

Find health scores at many scales: statewide, river basin, watershed, and catchment. See what's upstream, view the location of natural and man-made features. Explore your watershed to discover health trends and new connections.

Explore Watershed health - screen shot of app

Explore Watershed Health


Map Instructions

NEW! - Add other Web Services to the WHAF Map

Tips for Using the WHAF Map - Demonstration 

Video 1


Video 2

View Health Scores

Video 3

What's Upstream



Exploring the WHAF Map - Tip Sheets (PDF, 1 MB)


About the Framework

Spatial Scale

The Watershed Health Assessment Framework (WHAF) is designed for exploration across spatial scales.  DNR major watersheds and DNR catchments are used as a set of boundaries for calculating information about the health of the landscape.  The calculations are used to create comparable health scores that reveal health trends and relationships at many scales. 

Watershed definition »


Health Scores

The Watershed Health Assessments consist of health scores that rank the condition of Minnesota's watersheds from 0 (poor health condition, red) to 100 (good health condition, green).  The index values are benchmarks, like blood pressure, heart rate or age; they show trends across the landscape that compare health condition and health risks.

Learn more about Watershed health »


Ecological Framework

Natural resource systems are summarized into five ecological components: biology, connectivity, hydrology, water quality and geomorphology. A number of different index scores are calculated for each component giving a multifaceted view of watershed health.

More about five components »


Additional resources

Watershed Health Score Cards »
(PDF, 34 MB) - This searchable pdf has a summary page of health scores for Minnesota's 81 major (HUC8) watersheds. (November 2011 results)   

Watershed mapbooks »
This table provides links to a series of maps for each of Minnesota's major watersheds.  These maps provide background information for discussion of health concerns.  Mapbooks were produced using 2007 data.  The information may not match the updated data layers visible when using the online WHAF map.