SRS Helps Celebrate World Water Day
Today is World Water Day. By 2030, it is expected that the global need for water will grow by 50%, most of which will be driven by cities and growing urbanization. Today, 82% of North Americans live in urban areas, where the demand on aging and overstressed water infrastructure can already be felt in many cities. This growing demand will not only require new approaches to wastewater collection and management, but also place more pressure on protecting our water sources. Cities around the world are already realizing the potential to save money by proactively investing in source water protection on public land as well as by integrating re-greening measures directly into urban landscapes to help manage urban water and wastewater.
A glimpse of Southern Research Station research regarding water:
A study by SRS researchers shows that clean water begins in national forests for over 19 million people in the South—roughly the population of Florida. This information can help support partnerships among state, federal, and nongovernmental organizations that work to conserve the forest cover that provides the area’s clean, dependable water supplies.
A recent study between SRS and Chinese researchers explores seasonal water demands in forests, grasslands, and other ecosystems. This study is part of a collaborative effort between the U.S.-China Carbon Consortium (USCCC).
Today, forests abound in the southern Appalachians, but in the early 1900s many forests were harvested or cleared. “The forests that have returned may use water differently,” says SRS research ecologist Katherine Elliott in her recent research Water yield following forest-grass-forest transitions.
After the Fire, What Happens to Water Yield? — Researchers found the task of disentangling true wildfire effects from climate factors to be a complex, but critical task. To learn more visit: Assessment of wildland fire impacts on watershed annual water yield: Analytical framework and case studies in the United States.
Using Urban Forests to Manage Stormwater Runoff — “Retaining forest systems during construction and returning forest structure to urban environments can help mitigate storm runoff and improve water quality,” says SRS Eric Kuehler, Science Delivery Specialist. Give Me the Numbers: How trees and urban forest systems really affect stormwater runoff helps readers calculate the importance of urban trees.