River Basins & Projects

NC River Basins

The Piedmont Triad has three resident river basins within its twelve-county region:

  1. Cape Fear
  2. Roanoke
  3. Yadkin-Pee Dee

The total area of these river basins is 13, 931 square miles, larger than the State of Maryland.  We have completed a Regional Watershed Assessment within our three river basins to assess the 428 12-digit hydrologic unit codes (HUCs) for their conservation potential and their stress vulnerability.

We currently have projects underway in all of our river basins. To find out more about what's going on in your community, please check out the projects below in your river basin.

Yadkin-Pee Dee

The Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin is the second-largest river basin in North Carolina, covering twenty counties totaling 7,213 square miles and 5,946 linear river miles. The river basin covers a diverse landscape from Blue Ridge Mountain headwaters to the expansive Charlotte metropolitan area, crossing much of the Piedmont region and including parts of the unusual ecology of the sandy Uwharrie Mountains. The topography, geology, and land use throughout the Yadkin River basin are diverse, presenting a patchwork of land uses, aquatic habitats (including trout-sensitive waters), and urban growth, and challenging the development of a uniform management strategy.

Cape Fear


The Cape Fear River Basin is North Carolina's largest and longest river basin. Passing through both the Triad and Triangle regions before meeting the ocean in Wilmington, it is the most populated river basin in the state. It is also one of the few river basins completely contained in North Carolina.

The Deep and Haw Rivers are the headwaters and originate in the Piedmont Triad Region. The Haw River flows to the B. Everett Jordan Dam, while the Deep River converges with the Cape Fear River at Buckhorn Dam near the Shearon Harris Power Plant. Both river subbasins provide drinking water for the majority of Triad's residents, including for the residents of Asheboro, Burlington, Greensboro, and High Point.



The Roanoke River begins in the Blue Ridge Mountains of south western Virginia and ends where it joins the Albemarle Sound, part of the second largest estuary system in the United States (Albemarle-Pamlico). The North Carolina portion of the basin has two major parts: the Dan River and its tributaries in the western section and the Roanoke River and its tributaries in the eastern section.