SimWatershed is loosely based on the real-life Esopus Creek watershed, part of the naturally-cleaned water supply of New York City. SimWatershed implements two online labs, for the Yale School of Forestry graduate course Science to Solutions: How Should We Manage Water.
In the "Biophysics" lab, students explore how water quality is affected by adjusting land use - suburban, agricultural, livestock, and forest. Then in the "Solutions" lab, buying land costs money and faces limits. Other social treatments are available at a price: best management practices, upgrading the local sewage treatment plant, raising prices, or building a city water treatment plant. Scenarios explore present and future, nitrogen and sediment.