Could Forest Thinning Help Ease Water Shortages in the United States?

 

cove.jpgPlanning for the future of the nation’s water resources is more important now than ever before as severe drought grips the West, affecting heavily populated areas and critical agricultural regions. Forests generally yield huge quantities of water—much more than crops or grasslands—but also use a lot of water during the growing season, so some land managers wonder if forest thinning could boost water supplies to people and ecosystems in a changing climate. Researchers from the Eastern Threat Center and the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory tested this idea and found that thinning could increase water yield, but the results are not proportional. Their findings were recently published in a special issue of the journal Hydrological Processes. Read more in CompassLive...

Pictured: Photo by USDA Forest Service.

 

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