What is the MWCD?

The Muskingum River Watershed is part of Ohio's largest drainage system. 

Muskingum Watershed Map

Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District

Spanning five counties and portions of 22 others, this watershed covers more than 8,000 square miles and includes the area that drains into the Muskingum River and its tributaries. It includes a system of 16 dams and reservoirs that provide flood reduction and water conservation benefits for the property owners and residents of the region. It covers approximately 20 percent of the State of Ohio.

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) is a political subdivision of the State of Ohio organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce the effects of flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 6101 (commonly called the Conservancy Act).

The MWCD mission statement reads as follows: Responsible stewards dedicated to providing the benefits of flood reduction, conservation and recreation in the Muskingum River Watershed.

The MWCD is the largest conservancy district in the state and led the effort to construct 14 dams and reservoirs. Two others were built later and the system of dams and reservoirs has been credited by the federal government with saving an estimated $8 billion worth of potential damage from flooding since its original construction in the 1930s.

The MWCD is a partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in the operation of the system of dams and reservoirs in the watershed, as 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. The 18 counties wholly or partially contained in the MWCD jurisdiction are Ashland, Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Guernsey, Holmes, Harrison, Knox, Licking, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Richland, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, Wayne and Washington.


Click here for MWCD History Video

Click here for Subdistricts


MWCD & US Army Corps of Engineers - Muskingum River Basin Initiative