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  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkætʃ.mənt/
  • Hyphenation: catch‧ment


catchment (plural catchments)

  1. Any structure or land feature which catches and holds water; often used attributively.
    • 1998, Isotope Tracers in Catchment Hydrology (preface) by C. Kendall and J.J. McDonnell:
      ...that streamflow generated during rainfall or snowmelt is derived primarily from water stored in the catchment prior to the event....
    • 1998, Isotope Tracers in Catchment Hydrology (preface) by C. Kendall and J.J. McDonnell
      Catchment hydrology is more than just the study of water, or rocks, or biota -- it encompassses the physical and biogeochemical interactions that control the hydrology and biogeochemistry of the system.
  2. Collection of water such as with a catchment.
    • 1864, Reports from Commissioners by House of Commons, Parliament, Great Britain:
      Do you think that there ought to be some board or some authority for each catchment basin, which must be appointed with adequate powers to prevent the pollution of streams?
    • 2015, BYU Magazine:
      Every mountain in Petra has carved water channels in the indigenous stone that catch the seasonal erosion floods. Every building seems to be positioned to maximize water catchment.
  3. A catchment area, or the people it serves.
    • 1889, Parliamentary Papers, House of Commons and Command, Volume 9:
      Now let us come to this point: you are quite clear that serious evil exists in this union of navigation and drainage [...] And you are also clear that one obstacle is the taxation of the catchment area[...]?
    • 1890, Special Committee on the Irrigation and Reclamation of Arid Lands, United States Senate:
      The catchment area is the slope of a great mountain range covered with fine forests, and there are many good reservoir sites.
    • 2003, United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Guidelines on Participatory Planning and Management for Flood Mitigation and Preparedness:
      The publication of regular newsletters providing updates of floodplain management activities and distributed to individual residents in the catchment is an effective means of keeping the community informed.
    • 2013, Martin Gulliford, ‎Myfanwy Morgan, Access to Health Care, p. 17:
      [] each providing specialised medical and surgical facilities for a catchment of 200,000 to 300,000 population.

Derived terms[edit]