Forests help regulate how much water we can access and how clean that water is.
Boreal Forest Ecosystem
Most of Manitoba is part of the boreal forest. This ecosystem is full of trees, plants, and fresh water. The boreal forest cleans around two-thirds of the water that flows into Lake Winnipeg. We need the boreal forest to keep our water reliable and clean, and for the diversity of animals in Manitoba.
The soil in forests slows the rate that water flows into streams, rivers, and lakes. Forests help stabilize water quantity and are an essential part of flood and drought prevention.
Environmental Impacts on Water
Forests near water reduce shoreline erosion. Trees protect the soil from rainfall, and their roots give strength to the ground. Erosion causes the riverbanks to fall apart and add nutrient-rich matter into the water.
The forest soil filters water when it is absorbed. The soil cleans out mercury, pesticides, and other contaminants from water, which helps preserve the water quality of our lakes. This water eventually seeps into groundwater or flows into nearby streams, lakes, or rivers.
Forests help keep runoff from entering our fresh waters. Having forests or areas of trees near our cities and farms helps protect our precious lakes, rivers, and streams.
Two-thirds of Canadians get their drinking water from forested areas. We cannot undervalue our forests.