A guide to forest-water management

Forests and trees play a vital role in meeting the world's increasing demand for water and need to be managed for water-related ecosystem services, according to a new guide co-published by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, the United States Forest Service and partners, and launched at World Water Week. A Guide to Forest-Water Management is the first comprehensive global publication to provide guidance on the contribution of forests for a holistic approach to water resource management, including the management, monitoring and valuation of forests to deliver water-related ecosystem services. Forested watersheds contribute substantially to the world's accessible freshwater for agricultural, industrial, environmental, and domestic uses, with the world's major cities increasingly reliant on water from forested watersheds. Two-thirds of urban water supplies would benefit from increased water quality with improved forest management, such as protection, restoration and/or reducing forest fuel loads to minimize fire risk.