How Trees Help Create the Fresh Water Supply
Trees and forests play a key role in producing the planet’s fresh water supply, by both creating and attracting clouds, and by guiding rainwater into rivers, lakes and the underground water table. Restoring currently damaged land with tree planting is the most effective way to secure a continual supply of water for drinking, agriculture, and to support all life. Here are 4 major ways that trees manage the water cycle:
1. Trees Add Moisture to the Air and Create Clouds Trees draw water up from their roots all the way to their leaves where it becomes water vapor and is exhaled into the air. At the same time, the trees leaves release friendly bacteria that trigger the airborne water vapor to cluster together, forming clouds. These clouds also attract higher clouds in the sky that would have otherwise passed over these regions, combining with them to bring additional rain to the forest. This process circulates water from deep underground, into the air, and back down to the earth.
2. Trees Also Slow Rainfall Rain falls to the ground quickly. Without trees or other plants, it rapidly runs into the rivers taking topsoil with it, reducing an area’s fertility while increasing flooding, landslides and erosion. When rain falls on a forest, the leaves and needles of the trees slow the raindrops down dramatically, gently bringing the rain down to the forest floor.
3. Trees Help Soak the Water Into the Ground The rainfall on the forest floor then soaks into the top layer of soil, which the trees have helped to make healthy and absorbent. The water captured by this spongy soil gradually filters down through channels created by the tree’s roots and soil organisms, into the underground waterways of the water table. From here gravity continues to draw the water through the earth until it emerges as a spring that feeds streams and rivers, or until it is drawn up from the ground through wells.
4. Trees Keep Rivers and Streams Cool and Protected As the rivers and streams make their way to the sea, the shade provided by the surrounding trees keeps the water from evaporating too quickly, allowing the rivers to flow more abundantly, which enhances the value of the river to all surrounding life. The roots of the trees also hold the riverbanks together, reducing erosion and holding the integrity of the ecosystem in tact.
When It Comes to Fresh Water, Trees and Forests Are Our Greatest Ally
With freshwater for drinking and agriculture running out in places across the world, and droughts becoming more common each year, the A Tree a Day campaign sees large-scale tree planting as being the world’s most affordable, practical, and multi-benefit opportunity to effectively bring trillions of gallons of rainwater back into the freshwater system each year. Tree planting options start at just 10¢ a tree, so you can help plant a tree every day of the year for as little as $3 a month – or you can make a one time donation of any amount. By spreading the word about the A Tree a Day campaign to your friends and family, you can help this campaign reach millions of people, and together we can fund the planting of a trillion trees.
Visit http://www.helpplanttrees.org to learn more and sign up to plant trees for as little as 10¢ a tree with our planting partners Trees for the Future (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Guinea, Cameroon, Senegal) and Eden Reforestation Projects (Madagascar, Indonesia, Nepal). The 'A Tree a Day' campaign is volunteer run with 100% of your donation going directly to the planting project of your choice. SHOW LESS