How do Wildfires — And Efforts to Abate Them — Affect the Nation’s Water Supplies?

More than 180 million people across the United States rely on forest watersheds to store, filter, and deliver the water that flows from their taps. Unfortunately, in many parts of the country, these watershed functions face an increasing risk of severe wildfire. Prescribed burning is one treatment that can reduce forest fuels and wildfire’s threats…  More 

UNC and SRS Scientists Awarded NSF-USDA Grant to Address Water Scarcity in the Southeast

University of North Carolina (UNC) and U.S. Forest Service researchers with the Center for Integrated Forest Science (CIFS) recently received a $2.2 million grant from the National Science Foundationand the USDA to design strategies for communities in southeastern U.S. shifting from water abundance to water scarcity due to climate change effects on weather patterns. Accustomed…  More 

New Study Finds Lower Elevation Forests More Affected by Drought

Recently published research by scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), the  U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), and two other universities shows how the effects of drought on lower elevation forest watersheds in the Southeast could affect drinking water supplies as the region’s climate continue to change.  Taehee Hwang,…  More 

When It Rains, It Pours…and Increases Soil Erosion Potential in a Changing Climate

Anyone who has seen a gully carved by water flowing over land or a muddied creek following a rainstorm has witnessed soil erosion. Beyond its messiness, water-caused soil erosion can have far reaching impacts. When nutrients and organic matter in soils are washed away, decreased soil fertility affects food production, sediment entering streams and rivers…  More 

Developing Countries Tap Future Water Availability

Developing countries often face extreme challenges that negatively affect forests that provide local water supplies. Africa alone has roughly 22 percent forests and woodlands, areas rich with biodiversity, timber, and water resources. However, many of these areas face extreme conditions that threaten unprotected forests and ultimately future water availability. In 2005, Eastern Forest Environmental Threat…  More 

Southern Forests and Water

  The Southern Forest Futures Project Technical Report is now available online, both in entirety and by chapter. The report forecasts changes in forest conditions and resources based on a variety of scenarios—potential futures—and analyzes what those changes might mean for the future of southern forests. Over the next few months, CompassLive will feature key…  More 

International Water Conference Inspires Flow of Ideas

Increasing demands for water combined with changes in climate pose great challenges to both water quantity and quality, especially in “mega cities” where millions of people depend on a clean and adequate water supply. A U.S. Forest Service scientist is lending his expertise to help decision makers ensure sustainable water supplies for people, as well…  More 

What’s in Your Drinking Water?

Turning on the faucet and running a glass of tap water may not spark wonder about its origin, but with one sip youre able to assess its quality. What do you taste? In the North Carolina Piedmont, Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center scientists work to improve water quality and reduce the threat of water…  More 

The Water Web: More about WaSSI

Water quantity and quality issues affect every living thing on Earth, yet, until recently, methods for projecting possible future water supply scenarios were fairly limited. In the late 1990s, Southern Research Station (SRS) scientists participating in several national-scale assessments of climate change science and climate-related impacts discovered “a frustrating lack of landscape-scale, integrated ecosystem models from…  More 

UCS Uses EFETAC Tool to Analyze Power Plant Impacts on Water

Power plants across the United States are contributing to water stress and impacting water quality according to a new report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).    To analyze current and future water demand and supplies for the report, Freshwater Use by U.S. Power Plants: Electricitys Thirst for a Precious Resource, UCS researchers used results…  More