Forests to Faucets 2.0: Connecting Forests, Water, and Communities
The Forest to Faucets version 2.0 (F2FV2) assessment uses geospatial modeling at the 12-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC12) scale in the conterminous United States to identify watersheds that are most important to surface drinking water, the ability to produce clean water, forest ownership (public or private), and potential threats to water yield from insects and diseases, wildfire, land use or climate change. F2FV2 updates a 2011 version of the project (Forests to Faucets version 1.0). Results, presented by regions administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, indicate that watersheds in the Eastern, Southern, and Pacific Southwest Regions were most important for surface drinking water. Watersheds in the Southern, Pacific Northwest, and Pacific Southwest Regions had the highest ability to produce clean water based on the five biophysical characteristics evaluated. The Pacific Southwest, Pacific Northwest, and Northern Regions had the most watersheds at the highest threat of wildfire as well as the most watersheds at the highest threat of insects and disease. For all future climate and population growth scenarios, the Southern, Pacific Southwest, and Eastern Regions had the most watersheds at the highest threat of land use change, while the Pacific Northwest and Southern Regions had the most watersheds at the highest threat of decreases in water yield because of climate change. F2FV2 provides a user-friendly tool and relatively high spatial resolution benchmark dataset that forest managers can use to evaluate the effect of their management on the water supply, and that water consumers can use for considering potential threats upstream.