As wildfires tear across America’s West, the immediate risk is to life and property, but they will eventually affect water supplies.
That’s one reason large corporations are beginning to help fund forest restoration in order to mitigate their water risk.
The water supply for many communities, including large cities, starts in mountains and national forests. In California, about 70% of the water either starts or flows through national forests, according to Forest Service estimates.
“When we have large-scale fires like this, we get huge amounts of erosion that end up filling up the dams and reservoirs that store water and that help create hydropower,” said Eli Ilano, forest supervisor for…