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Forest Management with Providence Water

In the Northeast, climate trends include more rain and more frequent heavy rain events.

In addition, warming temperatures may increase insect growth rates, making the region more hospitable to existing pests and potentially to new pests. Altogether, these patterns will increase stressors that affect forest health.

The Scituate Reservoir is a critical source of drinking water for over 60% of Rhode Islanders. Protecting the source of the water supply reduces treatment costs and maintains water quality. Managing the health of the forest is a critical element of watershed protection. Since the creation of the water supply system, Providence Water has been actively managing the land around the reservoir to maintain a resilient forest. A resilient forest can withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions, such as heavy rain, drought, or an invasive pest. Climate-related events could negatively impact reservoir forests, which could lead to reduced water quality. In 2015, Providence Water set up trial demonstration sites to explore how trees from warmer climates will perform in the area. This aggressive approach to climate adaptation is called assisted migration. Providence Water is researching survival and health of both native Rhode Island and mid-Atlantic tree species.

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Scituate, RI

Project Status



Providence Water, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science