Enhance Public Benefits from Trees and Forests:
Water Quality and Supply Protection and Enhancement

Excerpted from the USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry Farm Bill Requirement and Redesign Strategies (pdf):

Forests and forestry practices can help protect, restore, and sustain water quality, water flows, and watershed health. Healthy urban and rural forested watersheds absorb rainfall and snow melt, slow storm runoff, recharge aquifers, sustain stream flows, and filter pollutants.

Assessments should identify watersheds where continued forest conservation and management is important to the future supply of clean municipal drinking water, or where restoration or protection activities will improve or restore a critical water source. Resource strategies should include actions for managing and conserving these priority watersheds for water quality and supply, and other ecosystem services.

Chapter Overview

Protecting and managing forests in source watersheds is an essential part of future strategies for providing a sustainable supply of clean water for a broad range of beneficial uses. A water supply analysis identifies locations where high value water supply coincides with high threats and thus represents areas where stewardship projects are most needed. A water quality analysis identifies locations where high value water assets in watersheds supporting a broad range of beneficial uses coincide with high risks that threaten water quality.

Full Chapter

Download the Water Quality and Supply Protection and Enhancement chapter (.pdf).
Note: References (.pdf) (for all chapters) and other information are found separately.


Download the methodology document (.pdf) for Water Quality and Supply Protection and Enhancement.

Maps, Data and Tables

(click on an analysis to expand the list of maps, data and tables available for that analysis)
Water Supply
Water Quality


  • For more information about Water Quality and Quantity Protection and Enhancement, please contact Chris Keithley, 916.445.5344.

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