South Africa is a water scarce country. By 2025, it is believed that the demand for water will be greater than the available water resources – making every drop count in the years ahead.
Trees alter the available water in two ways:
(1) Trees use water to make energy, taking up soil water through their roots to use during photosynthesis.
(2) Trees also intercept rainwater on their leaves, branches and trunks before it can get to the ground and replenish ground water stores. This rainwater is often lost to evaporation.
Timber plantations use around 3% of South Africa’s available water. This water use is legally allocated through the relevant water use licensing processes, but still freshwater ecosystems (such as wetlands and rivers) can be affected if timber plantations are not well designed or managed.
Therefore, our water stewardship efforts are essential in minimising our water footprint.