Throughout much of the Chesapeake, there is a direct connection between forests and your faucet. Around 75% of us rely on drinking water that flows through forests. As forest land is converted to other uses like development, water quality goes down and drinking water treatment costs go up. According to The State of Chesapeake Forests report, 60% of the watersheds that provide drinking water to towns in the Chesapeake are losing forest land.

[separator alignment=”” ]Protecting trees, woods and forests is the first and often the cheapest step to sustaining drinking water supplies. Using data from the USDA Forest Service’s Forests to Faucets program, The Chesapeake Bay Program and Alliance teamed up to show where forests are most important to surface drinking water. The most important watersheds have high volumes of water flowing through them, serve large numbers of drinking water customers, and have a high percentage of forest land.

The Alliance will use this data to help communicate the importance of forests to local governments and other drinking water providers.

Download the map:  Importance of Forest to Surface Drinking Water Supplies(.pdf)