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A watershed is an entire river system—an area drained by a river and all its tributaries. It is sometimes called a drainage basin. It captures, stores, and releases surface water.
Haiti relies on rain water to meet a majority of its needs. The country's 11 main water basins provide Haiti's water supply and are themselves fed by a variety of interweaving streams carrying fresh water down from the mountains.
Because most of the vegetation in Haiti has been cut, there is nothing to hold the water under the soil. This means that Haiti's crop yields have gone down and they have lost soil fertility. The soil has been washed away, never to be returned to the mountainsides.
"... The intermittent streams of these systems, particularly on the windward mountain slopes, are vulnerable to rainfall-induced flash floods during rainy season. Roughly 92% of the country’s agriculture is rainfed, and the bulk of a existing irrigation infrastructure lies in disrepair and/or was severely damaged by the 2010 earthquake.
"The potential irrigable area is more than double the current irrigated area, and small irrigation schemes, which take advantage of rainwater-harvesting structures, could offer great potential for yield sustainability, particularly for rural subsistence farmers." | Source:
This is why rural Haitian communities need reforestation efforts, water systems, and wells. Their watersheds suffer from a lack of environmental management and the absence of conservation practices, which impairs natural resources and agricultural productivity.
Without conservation practices, Haiti's land will continue to wash away. | Source: