Monday November 14, 2022

Oregon Capital Chronicle

Western states and cities are more reliant on drinking water from U.S. Forest Service lands than previously known. 

A first-of-its-kind study by the Forest Service reveals how some of the largest public water systems in the country rely on surface waters from the federal agency’s land. The agency plans to use the new data to help public water systems plan for a future of higher demand, development and climate change.

Previous studies have attempted to measure the amount of surface water moving directly from national forests and grasslands into public water systems, but the latest study from the agency includes measures of how much surface water from its lands are moved by pipe and canal networks to major cities nationwide. 

The study revealed that about 90% of people in the West served by public drinking water systems rely on water from national forests and grasslands, sometimes transported hundreds of miles from points of origin to flow into taps.

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