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Full Version: Forestation Causes Loss Of Water Table Runoff?
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Here is an example of something being accurate, but not true. And too, why does the published report think that planting trees, resulting in what they claim, is such a bad thing?

'Carbon sinks' drain water
Amanda Hodge
January 02, 2006

THE rush to plant forests to soak up carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming, could cause as many problems as it solves, with new research showing they can reduce local water supplies by up to 50per cent.

An international study on the use of forest plantations as carbon sinks has found that while intensive plantations can help mitigate the effects of global warming, they can also sap streamflows and cause salinity.

The study, co-authored by CSIRO Land and Water scientist Damian Barrett and published in Science, found that forest plantations reduced streamflows by an average 38per cent. In 13per cent of cases, streamflows dried up completely for at least a year.

A vision paper developed by Australia's plantation forest industry and the federal Government aims to treble the land under plantation to 3million hectares by 2020. But Dr Barrett said there was debate about whether that was achievable.

Here is why this report is accurate, but not true. It is like the argument that lower taxes will result in higher revenue. Only the initial period will show a loss, but later will quickly exceed expectations.

Consider: increased forestation WILL indeed use up more water that results from rainfall, by temporarilly decreasing the amount of fast runoff. In the short run, the amount of water in streams and rivers is less than before, but the 50% mentioned is only a Worst Case Scenerio. However, the runoff is simply going down to the ocean and unless it is used for irrigation or electricity, will not really make any difference. Also, the loss of initial water will not terribly cut in to irrigation or electricity.

However, the increase in retained moisture in the ground will lead to a more healthy land, And it will, through respiration, allow moisture to recirculate within the atmosphere, making the area more livable for plants and animals. And finally, once the land reaches it's saturation point, it will expell the excess slowly over time into the river system as it did before. But it will be more gradual, due to extensive root systems, and thus not allows for flash flooding as it would without forestation.

Greece used to be a heavilly forested land prior to man felling all the trees and not allowing for them to regrow because of using sheep and goats to graze the slopes. A simple look at the Greek countryside shows the effects of heavy erosion and flash flooding over time. and cities along the coast wind up inland, as silting changes the shoreline over time.

Anyway, this study is a total waste in resourses, if it's published finding is the desired conclusion.