Covering more than 8,000 square miles—or 20% of the state’s land—and all or portions of 27 counties, the Muskingum River Watershed is the largest drainage system in Ohio. Its 16 dams and reservoirs provide flood reduction and water conservation benefits for property owners, residents, and visitors in the region.
Three major subwatershed regions come together to form the Muskingum Watershed—the Tuscarawas River Watershed in the northeast, the Walhonding River Watershed in the northwest, and the Lower Muskingum Watershed in the south. The Tuscarawas and Walhonding Rivers flow in a southern direction, intersecting at Coshocton, forming the Muskingum River. The Muskingum River eventually empties into the Ohio River at Marietta in Washington County.
Together with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the MWCD operates the system of dams and reservoirs in the watershed. (The USACE operates the dams for flood reduction and the MWCD manages most of the reservoir areas behind the dams.)
The MWCD has jurisdiction for its operations in all or portions of an 18-county area (over 6,000 square miles). The 18 counties wholly or partially contained in the MWCD jurisdiction are Ashland, Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Knox, Licking, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Richland, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, Washington, and Wayne.
Conservation through Celebration
Enjoy Ohio’s Lakes
With over 16,000 acres of water throughout the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, residents and visitors can enjoy boatloads of entertainment all year-round. Our 10 permanent lakes and four reservoirs do so much more than conserve water and prevent flooding; they have become an attraction for millions of delighted guests every year.
The more we play outdoors, the more we love and preserve the outdoors, so come on out to camp, glamp, boat, kayak, jetski, fish, hunt, hike, bike, and swim in one of the MWCD parks!
Originally constructed with the dual purpose of controlling floodwater and conservation, the MWCD reservoirs and dams keep a region once ravaged by floodwaters safe, reducing the impact of floods on farmland, forests, and residential properties.
Residents, farmers, business owners, and visitors alike benefit from the conservation of our precious water sources in the Muskingum Watershed, securing surface water for ongoing municipal use and agricultural use in times of drought.