- Roughly 45,000 square miles
- Floods and droughts are unavoidable consequence of the region’s climate, hydrology, and geomorphology
- Parts of North Dakota, Minnesota, Manitoba, and South Dakota (less than 1%)
- 90 % of landuse is used for some form of agricultural production
- Northward flowing to Lake Winnipeg (eventually – Hudson’s Bay)
- During springtime, southern parts of the basin are thawing and flowing while northern parts are still frozen
- A slope of 1-2 feet/mile -a relatively young, low-energy river system
- Periphery tributary sub watersheds draining to the Red River of the North have an elevation drop of 950 feet in 80 – 90 miles.
- 25 major sub-watersheds:
- Four are inter-jurisdictional, including Pembina (shared by North Dakota and Manitoba), Roseau (shared by Minnesota and Manitoba), Wild Rice (shared by North Dakota and South Dakota), and Bois de Sioux (shared by North Dakota and South Dakota).
- Seven are located entirely in North Dakota, including Devils Lake, Park, Forest, Turtle, Goose, Elm, and Sheyenne.
- Nine are located entirely in Minnesota side including Two Rivers, Tamarac, Middle Snake, Red Lake, Sandhill, Wild Rice-Marsh, Buffalo, Otter Tail, and Mustinka-Rabbit.
- Five are situated entirely in Manitoba including the La Salle, Morris, Riviere Aux Marais/Plum, and Seine, and Rat.