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Title: Forests, Water and People: Drinking water supply and forest lands in the Northeast and Midwest United States, June 2009

Author: Barnes, Martina; Todd, Albert; Whitney Lilja, Rebecca; Barten, Paul;

Date: 2009

Source: United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, 11 Campus Boulevard, Suite 200, Newtown Square, PA 19073 NA-FR-01-08, June 2009, www.na.fs.fed.us

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Forests are critically important to the supply of clean drinking water in the Northeast and Midwest portion of the United States. In this part of the country more than 52 million people depend on surface water supplies that are protected in large part by forested lands. The public is generally unaware of the threats to their water supplies or the connection between clean water and the extent and condition of forest lands in source water watersheds. The future security of water supplies will not be ensured by a focus on water treatment alone. Protecting and managing forests in source watersheds is an essential part of future strategies for providing clean, safe drinking water that citizens can afford. This analysis uses a GIS-based process and a series of maps to create a watershed condition index based on physical and biological attributes. Using a multi-step process, this index is then used to compare 540 watersheds across 20 States and the District of Columbia, in terms of their ability to produce clean water. The study also quantifies the magnitude and scope of forest dependent drinking water supplies, and their dependence on private forests; and it identifies watersheds that are threatened by land use change or are in need of management to sustain and improve forests that protect water supplies. The final maps and data display development pressure on private forests in watersheds important for drinking water.

Keywords: Water, lakes, reservoirs, water supply, drinking water, watersheds, forest lands water, timber products, municipal water sources, water supply system, water quality, water consumption, water protection, water treatment, drinking water NA-FR-01-08

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.

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Citation:


Barnes, Martina; Todd, Albert; Whitney Lilja, Rebecca ; Barten, Paul 2009. Forests, Water and People: Drinking water supply and forest lands in the Northeast and Midwest United States, June 2009. United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, 11 Campus Boulevard, Suite 200, Newtown Square, PA 19073 NA-FR-01-08, June 2009, www.na.fs.fed.us

 


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