The Concept of a River Basin
A river basin, or watershed, is the entire area of land that is drained by a river. Any water, or pollutant, that occurs in a basin (even if it occurs far away from the river itself) can eventually wind up in the river. There are 17 major river basins across the state of North Carolina. Of those, 13 basins cover land in states other than North Carolina.
The Yadkin Project is contained within the Yadkin River Basin, part of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin. The Yadkin-Pee Dee basin contains many cities — North Wilkesboro, Blowing Rock, Mt. Airy, Mt. Pilot, Winston-Salem, Lexington, Salisbury, Albemarle, Norwood, Troy, Cheraw, Bennetsville, Rockingham, Florence, Darlington and Myrtle Beach.
Roughly 4,000 square miles of land in North Carolina and Virginia drain into High Rock naturally, or unregulated. By comparison, the entire watershed for all Yadkin lakes includes about 4,400 square miles. The entire Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin (which drains into the Atlantic Ocean south of Myrtle Beach, SC) is 14,989 square miles.