Using the Framework: 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 Instruction Video Series:

Narrated 3-4 minute videos will open in YouTube

User Handouts:

View or print step-by-step instructions

Add A Web Service:

Add Web Services to the WHAF Map

Apply 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 Report Cards »
Health Report Cards deliver health scores for all 81 of Minnesota's major watersheds.  The Report Cards include scores are calculated at both the Major Watershed scale and the DNR Catchment (subwatershed) scale.