Forests to Faucets 2.0

Standing on the banks of the Yadkin River in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, the river tumbles peacefully by. The river water has made a long journey: it originated as rainfall deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It flows through the Uwharrie, Sumter, and Francis Marion National Forests. It travels through Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Charleston…  More 

Future water supply depends on forested lands

Forests provide cleaner water than any other land cover type. Around 60 million people in the U.S. get more than half of their surface drinking water from forested lands. In Environmental Research Letters, USDA Forest Service ORISE hydrology fellow Ning Liu and colleagues break down the contributions of U.S. forests to surface drinking water supplies.…  More 

Linking tree water use and soil moisture

When more water is available, some tree species use much more of it. Loblolly pines growing near a stream used 65 percent more water than loblolly pines growing near the top of a hill, reports a new study led by USDA Forest Service researcher Johnny Boggs.  White oaks near a stream only had 12 percent…  More 

Wetland Silviculture & Water Tables

Water tables are everywhere, but their levels fluctuate – especially in the poorly drained clay soils of coastal South Carolina. Topography also affects water tables, and forested wetlands in the Coastal Plain tend to be flat. “They respond rapidly to rainfall and evapotranspiration,” says Devendra Amatya, a USDA Forest Service research hydrologist. Amatya is on…  More 

Study Wins Water Resources Research Editor’s Choice Award

Over the last three decades, forest vegetation has begun using significantly more water, as long-term climate and streamflow data reveal. USDA Forest Service scientists Jim Vose and Dave Wear contributed to the study, which was led by Taehee Hwang, an assistant professor at the University of Indiana. The findings were published in the journal Water…  More 

Using CAT in Local Watersheds

General circulation models use math to predict the future – future rainfall and temperature data, for example. But GCMs are meant for global or regional scales. “CAT is better for fine scales,” says USDA Forest Service research hydrologist Ying Ouyang. CAT, the Climate Assessment Tool, is a model developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.…  More 

National Fish & Aquatic Strategy

The U.S. Forest Service recently completed an updated national fish and aquatic strategy titled Rise to the Future: National Fish and Aquatic Strategy. This plan builds on three decades of success and lessons learned from the original Rise to the Future Fisheries Strategy in 1987. Why does the Forest Service need an updated national fish…  More 

Sustainable Growth & the Future of Forested Watersheds

Forests provide high quality and dependable supplies of surface water. More than 19 million people in the Southeast get at least some of their drinking water from national forests, as U.S. Forest Service research revealed. However, most forest land in the Southeast U.S. is privately owned. Such land could be converted to other uses in…  More 

Air Pollution Could Worsen Water Shortages in a Changing Climate

Over the past 40 years since the passage of the Clean Air Act, air pollution from automobiles, factories, and power plants has substantially decreased, leading to better human and environmental health. But air pollution and its impacts on people and ecosystems remain a concern amid growing demands for transportation, energy, and manufactured goods. University and…  More 

The Santee Experimental Forest

In 1934, the U.S. Forest Service allocated 6,100 acres (2,470 ha) of the Francis Marion National Forest (Francis Marion) near Charleston, South Carolina, for the Santee Experimental Forest (the Santee). By the 1930s, much of the site had been heavily used for centuries, the upland cleared to raise livestock and produce naval stores (tar, pitch, turpentine, and…  More