A watershed or drainage basin is defined as an area of land where all the surface water and the groundwater converges into a single point at a lower elevation, usually the exit of the watershed, where the water joins another waterbody such as a river, lake or the ocean. The property of Kenauk encompasses almost entirely a complete watershed.
Watersheds vary in size depending on what scale you identify the water movement at. On a regional scale, watersheds are important because they conform a logical unit of focus for studying the movement of water within the hydrological cycle. Watersheds are also an important element to consider when studying ecology. As surface water flows over the ground and along rivers in a watershed, it picks up nutrients, sediment and pollutants which travel with the water towards the outlet of the basin, affecting ecological processes along the way.
Kenauk encompases a pristine watershed because it has limited human inputs and therefor essentially no introduced pollutants to the water system. The Kenauk Institute will focus on conducting research to validate Kenauks watershed quality and maintain the health of the water system and its connected ecological processes.