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Sustainable Forestry and the Water Cycle

In a forest precipitation in the form of drizzle, rain, snow or hail is captured by trees and vegetation and infiltrates the soil. Forests can protect rivers, lakes and ground water by trapping sediments and pollutants from other surface land uses. Trees absorb the water from the soil through their roots. The water is released back to the atmosphere and to the global water cycle through evapotranspiration.

 Use of water in forests and their protective function

The only water feed to forests from which ACE member companies source timber comes from natural precipitation. The water use is a part of a natural forest cycle, that would occur regardless if the forest is managed and harvested or not.

Trees need water to grow and water needs forests for storage, purity and other benefits, that are multiple. Forests minimise erosion as roots of the trees and plants hold together soil particles, preventing them from being washed away. By capturing rainfall, fog and evaporating moisture from vegetation, forests have a levelling effect on the amount of water available. Responsibly managed forests provide ecosystem services e.g. water and wood, rural employment, recreation and a source of food.