Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-281
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
17 May 2017
Does forest replacement increase water supply in watersheds? Analysis through hydrological simulation
Ronalton Evandro Machado, Milena Lopes, and Lubienska Cristina Lucas J. Ribeiro Unicamp (University of Campinas) – School of Technology, Street Paschoal Marmo 1888, CEP 13484-332, Jd. Nova Itália, Limeira, SP, Brazil
Abstract. Forests play an important role in watershed hydrology, regulating the transfer of water within the system. Their role in maintaining the hydrological regime of watersheds is still a controversial issue. Consequently, we use the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to simulate scenarios of land use in a watershed. In one of these scenarios we identified, through GIS techniques, Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) which have been undergoing watershed degradation and we considered these areas as protected by forest cover. This scenario was then compared to the current usage scenario regarding watershed sediment yield and hydrological regime. The results showed a reduction in sediment yield of 54 % among different scenarios, whereas watershed water yield was reduced by 19.3 %.
The discussion paper was formally withdrawn.


Citation: Machado, R. E., Lopes, M., and Ribeiro, L. C. L. J.: Does forest replacement increase water supply in watersheds? Analysis through hydrological simulation, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-281, 2017.
Ronalton Evandro Machado et al.
Ronalton Evandro Machado et al.

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Short summary
Some of the hydrological functions usually ascribed to forests, however, such as to increase rivers water availability are disputable and lack a technical and scientific basis. We observe, however, that this is still a worldwide controversy, especially regarding the establishment of water conservation and sustainable use of natural resources policies. The results obtained from this study showed that increased forest cover decreased water yield in the watershed due mostly to its greater ET.
Some of the hydrological functions usually ascribed to forests, however, such as to increase...
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