Facing water resource issues in the 21st century
The importance of forested watersheds for providing clean and regulated water to support aquatic ecosystems and provide water for humanconsumption and recreation has long been recognized.
Historically, the southern United States has been perceived as an area with abundant supplies of water. However, several co-occurring driving forces suggest that natural resource managers, policy makers, and communities will be faced with significant challenges with regards to water resource issues in the 21st century.
Forces such as increased population growth and urbanization, climate change and variability, and invasive species have the potentialto increase waterdemand, while simultaneously decreasing water supply and quantity. Dealing with these forces will require interdisciplinary approaches.
The Forest Watershed Science is one of sixteen RWU’s maintained under the Southern Research Station by the USDA Forest Service. Research teams are located across the southeast, and were combined in 2004 to better facilitate research coordination efforts. The work units include in the southern Appalachian Mountains, the Piedmont, and the eastern Seaboard.
To provide information, methods, and guidelines to implement and evaluate ecosystem management concepts, practices, and effects on water, soil and forest resources.
To improved knowledge, baseline data, and predictive methods that are required to evaluate effects of the atmospheric environment on forested watersheds in the southeastern U.S.