FAO says forests hold the key to high quality water supply

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says better forest management holds the key to high quality water supply and its related benefits.

The organization indicates that forests capture and store water and can play an important role in providing drinking water for millions of people in the world’s major cities.

Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director General at FAO’s Forestry Department said the forest is essential to water cycle development.

“Forests are part of the natural infrastructure of any country and are essential to the water cycle. They reduce the effects of floods, prevent soil erosion, regulate the water table and assure a high quality water supply for people, industry and agriculture “, said Rojas-Briales who spoke prior to the UN World Water Day which was celebrated March 22, 2011.

According to the FAO at least one third of the world’s biggest cities draws a significant portion of its drinking-water from forested areas. If properly utilized, the organization says forest catchment areas can provide at least a partial solution for municipalities needing more or cleaner water.

Eight percent of the world’s forests have soil and water conservation as their primary objective, the FAO said.

By 2025, the FAO says 1.8 billion people will be living in regions with absolute water scarcity and two-thirds of the world’s population may experience water-stress conditions.


By Ekow Quandzie

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