Location Information for the Headwater Diversion Watershed
The Headwater Diversion Basin, which primarily drains the diverted Castor and Whitewater Rivers and Crooked Creek, is located in southeast Missouri, and since 1913, has been part of the Upper Mississippi River Basin below St. Louis, Missouri. The Castor River originates in Ste. Genevieve County and flows 69 miles south through St. Francois, Madison, Wayne and Bollinger Counties (Figure 1). The Whitewater River originates in St. Francois County and flows 56 miles south through Perry, Bollinger and Cape Girardeau Counties. Flow from both rivers is intercepted and diverted 34 miles east to the Mississippi River by the Headwater Diversion Channel, a large artificial channel located in Bollinger, Cape Girardeau and Scott counties (Figure Lo01). Forty-nine miles of Crooked Creek, which separates the Castor and Whitewater River subbasins, is the only other major tributary to the Headwater Diversion Channel .
Prior to the construction of the Headwater Diversion Channel and associated levee system, Crooked Creek and the Castor and Whitewater River drainages were the headwaters of the large Little River which drained the entire bootheel region of southeast Missouri into the Arkansas-White-Red River Basin. The large Headwater Diversion Channel main levee has never been over-topped and effectively isolates the upper basin from the bootheel region.