This is intimate relationship between forests and water availability

Forest and Water Relationship

forests and water
forests and water

Forests are the source of life.  Whether we realize it or not, admit it or not, in fact forests have provided many benefits for humans, both those who live around the forest and those who live far from the forest.  For those who live around the forest, forest products such as fruits, vegetables, etc. can be used as a food source.

 Not only as a source of food, but also a source of income.  For example, rattan which can be formed into various kinds of handicrafts that can be sold.

 Then what about the people who live far from the forest, such as those who live in urban areas, do they get the benefits of the forest?  Forests with lots of trees provide oxygen for life on this earth.  Not only oxygen, but also as a provider of clean water.

 According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about a third of major cities in the world, such as Bogota, Tokyo, Barcelona and New York, rely heavily on protected forests to provide drinking water for around 238 million people in these cities.  .

 Clean water is one of the most important resources for life.  Human activities are very dependent on the availability of clean water, from bathing, washing, agriculture, to drinking water, all sourced from clean water produced by forests.

 Forests are providers of environmental services.  One of the environmental services that forests can provide is controlling the water cycle.  Not only does it provide clean water, but also plays a role in controlling erosion and flooding.  The leaves and branches of trees act as deterrents in the process of interception of rainwater that falls to the earth so that it can prevent water from directly falling to the ground.

 The litter produced from plant leaves that fall to the ground serves to reduce runoff from the surface that has the potential to cause flooding.  The greater the runoff, the less water is absorbed or stored in the soil.

 "Deforestation on a large scale will increase surface water flow which then results in depletion of surface soil and ultimately increases sediment in water bodies," said Dwi Derma, PROFAUNA's campaigner.

 Sedimentation causes river water to turn brown shortly after rain as a result of increased soil sediment in water bodies.

 Forests are cut down, clean water is reduced

 Nowadays, we are often faced with a situation where the availability of water is very abundant during the rainy season and even causes flooding, but during the dry season the river is dry and water is difficult to find.

 One example of the reduced availability of clean water due to forest loss occurred in Merauke, Papua.  There, clean water sources are increasingly worrying.  The rivers and swamps, which have been used as sources of clean water, have decreased their water discharge as a result of the conversion of forest functions upstream to oil palm and sugar cane plantations.

 According to Yosehi Mekiuw, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Musamus University (Unimer) Merauke, quoted from, currently the life of the Yeinan Tribe in Kampung Bupul, Merauke Regency, is getting squeezed.  Deforestation has eliminated their livelihoods as hunters and gatherers of forest products.  Not only have they lost their livelihoods, but their sources of clean water are also threatened.

 So far, the Yeinan Tribe's clean water supply depends on the Maro River.  Now, with the rampant deforestation in the upstream watershed of Kali Maro by several oil palm companies, the condition of the formerly excellent upstream watershed has become damaged and causes the supply of clean water to continue to shrink.

 Mekiuw said, "there is something wrong with the hydrological system in Merauke."

 There is no land cultivation, infiltration wells and water management.  As a result, during the rainy season, Merauke has an abundance of water.  On the other hand, when the dry season arrives, water seems to disappear and Merauke experiences drought and difficulty in getting clean water.

 Forests have the ability to act as water regulators, meaning that they are able to regulate, support natural processes and provide clean water if allowed to remain natural.  It is able to store water in the rainy season where the availability of water is abundant, it is also able to release water during the dry season, when water availability is very lacking.

 Forests are very vital to the supply or supply of clean water for humans.  It is able to filter and clean water better and cheaper than human-created systems.

 A survey in the United States showed that the cost of treating water in an area where a watershed (DAS) still has 60% forest cover, is half the cost of treating water in an area with only 30% forest cover.  It is estimated that every US $ 1 spent on forest and watershed protection would save as much as US $ 7.50 to US $ 200 in water treatment costs.

 With the enormous benefits of forests for life on this earth, will we still be indifferent and indifferent to the sustainability of our forests?
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