“The connection between forests and rivers is like that between father and son. No forest, no rivers.”
— Gifford Pinchot, first Chief of the Forest Service

Cascading water in a forested stream

Water is one of the most important natural resources flowing from forests. The Forest Service manages the largest single source of water in U.S., with about one-fifth originating from 193 million acres of land. A network of water and watershed resource specialists support stewardship efforts at all levels of the organization to promote healthy, sustainable watersheds fundamental to ecosystems and people.

Quick Facts

  • Forests in the United States provide drinking water to more than 180 million people.
  • Sixty-six million people rely on a national forest as their water source.
  • At least 36 States anticipate water shortages within the next 10 years—GAO, 2003.
  • 40 percent of the world’s population will be living in water-scarce regions by 2025— World Resource Institute, 2002.

For more information about water and the Forest Service, click here

Links to Forest Service and Partner Educator Resources

Clearing Houses for Educator Resources on Water



Forests, Water and Climate Change

Water and people

This excellent, new Forest Service publication clearly explains the connections between water resources, climate change and forests. Click on this link to download this 4-page, full-color publication.

Forests, Oceans, Climate and Us - FOCUS

wyland kids and mural

On June 11, 2009, world renowned artist Wyland, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) launched a national Forest to the Sea in a Changing Climate education campaign. The kick-off event tookplace at the People’s Garden on the National Mall with Wyland, students from the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities and local schools painting a series of murals exploring how kids can have a positive impact on local watersheds from the forests to the sea.


World Wide Water Monitoring Day

Water - lake and forest

World Water Monitoring Day

Helps watershed leaders, educators and trained volunteers to educate students and citizens how the actions of...

National Public Lands Day

Through a partnership with National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), Conservation Education participates in the annual

Project WET

Project WET logo

Project Wet

Wenatchee Salmon Festival

Salmon Festival - logo

Set in the pristine majesty of Washington State’s Cascade Mountains, Salmon Fest is an outdoor education adventure you will not want to miss.

Connect your family to nature in a fun an...