Levia notes that forests are critical to future water supplies -- approximately 80 percent of the freshwater resources in the United States currently originate in forests. He says that forest hydrologists can help manage forests to maximize water supplies for the future.
"Take for instance the Boston area, which has been growing and growing, and tapping water farther and farther west," Levia says, noting that his grandmother was from Dana, Mass., one of four towns that were flooded to make way for the Quabbin Reservoir, which was built in the 1930s to help supply water to the city.
"To maximize the water available to people, you could, for example, advocate planting deciduous trees instead of conifers because less precipitation evaporates and transpires from the leaves and stems of deciduous trees, yielding more water for streams," he says. "So maple trees would be better to plant than pine trees in that area. There are strategies you can take to protect forests and water supplies."
|Contact: Tracey Bryant|
University of Delaware