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Assessment of Forest Cover to Protect Drinking Water


Photo by Chesapeake Bay Program

Why EcoLogix Group was engaged:

A national environmental organization engaged EcoLogix Group to examine forest cover trends and sediment loadings in three watersheds located immediately upstream of a water filtration plant in a major metropolitan area. The organization was interested in assessing the potential for increased forest cover to serve as a cost-effective way to protect riverine drinking water supplies from increasing sediment pollution and the associated increasing costs of treatment.


How EcoLogix Group Responded:

Ecologix Group engaged a Geographic Information Systems expert, who produced a series of maps, and data tables, showing that forest loss had occurred during 2009-2014 in each of the three case study watersheds (the analysis also included specific forest cover trends in small subwatersheds in the study area).  EcoLogix Group then analyzed numerous studies in the technical literature on forest cover, land cover, and water quality connections.  We prepared a report on our findings for the client to use to support public communications.


Outcome: 

The client was able to convene a meaningful policy discussion on the subject of the report with the region’s key governmental and environmental stakeholders. The report enables ongoing and non-adversarial discussions of public policy considerations in the region.


LEAD: 

Diane Cameron Principal
dcameron@ecologixgroup.comClean Water Policy Expert