Whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right. That’s the theme of World Water Day 2019. It’s a day made official by the United Nations General Assembly that takes place every year on March 22. Did you know that regardless of who, or where you are, your water likely comes from a forest? According to the UN, forests provide 75 percent of the world’s freshwater. In addition, forests provide more than just water storage; trees help regulate rainfall through transpiration and filter out contaminants.
How the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Contributes
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative is helping to conserve sources of clean water in the U.S. and Canada. Over half the drinking water in the U.S. and nearly two-thirds in Canada comes from forests and SFI’s work to advance sustainable forestry is ensuring the conservation of water resources. Water quality is one of the many important issues that the SFI standards address and SFI also influences water issues through the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program. Here are just a few recent grants:
- State by State Water Quality Best Management Practices Analysis: Assesses how well best management practices are protecting water resources in the United States, specifically lakes, rivers, and watersheds.
- University of Georgia: Quantifying Impacts of SFI’s Fiber Sourcing Standards in Georgia: Illustrates the water-quality related sustainability of forest management practices on various private forestlands in Georgia.
- Fraser Basin Council: Monitoring Water Temperatures and Flows for Steelhead in Relation to Forest Management Practices: Improves stream habitat and water quality by comparing water temperatures resulting for different forest management.
- Virginia Tech: Monitoring and Quantifying the Effects of State Forestry Best Management Practices: Compares and contrasts the implementation and effectiveness of the 13 Southeastern states' forestry best management practices for water quality.
4 Simple Ways to Support “Water for All”, #WorldWaterDay
Feeling inspired and want to do more? Here are a few easy ways to plug into World Water Day.
- Read the fact sheet to understand what “safe water” means, why it’s important, and what needs to be done to leave no one behind
- Get inspired by true stories of what others are doing to fulfill the human right to water—from marathons to raise awareness to world summits to find solutions
- Get free resources, including animations, to share with your friends online
- Participate in a World Water Day event near you or create your own
Visit sfiprogram.org to learn more about sustainable forestry and water quality.