Soils and water [Chapter 3]This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Wildlands play a special role in providing a reliable supply of high-quality water (Dissmeyer 2000), and, in particular, we rely on forest and rangeland soils to ensure clean, abundant water. Soils retain water and make it available to support vegetation, facilitate drainage to soil and ultimately to surface waters (streams and lakes), and recharge aquifers and groundwater. Soils also help regulate water quality by filtering out pollutants and regulating sediments. In this chapter, we explore the links between soil and water and evaluate some potential threats to the ability of forest and rangeland soils to provide clean, abundant water. We also identify information gaps and research needs.