Healthy Watersheds Through Healthy Forests
An estimated two-thirds of the fresh water in the U.S. originates in a forested watershed. Forests play a crucial role in storing and purifying drinking water for downstream consumers. Yet most consumers don’t realize the vital role that forests play in helping keep drinking water clean, affordable, and reliable.
Since its inception, the Endowment has fostered partnerships and supported projects that enhance society’s appreciation for the role that forests play in providing clean, reliable water. We’ve focused on:
- Partnerships with water utilities to help them better understand the benefits of healthy, well-managed forests in their watersheds;
- Developing new sources of revenue for communities that wish to protect and manage their forested watersheds;
- Funding pilot projects that validate the payment for watershed services concept, particularly as it applies to forest landowners and managers; and
- Educating water users about the many benefits of forests, including their role as wildlife habitat, cleaning our air, storing carbon, and providing recreational opportunities.
Documentary: The Forest Filter
The Savannah River Clean Water Fund is one example of water utilities, conservation groups, and others collaborating to project forested watersheds.