Habitat Protection Helps Safeguard Clean Water
People throughout the world are becoming more attune to the importance of clean water and the natural places that provide it. Drinking water comes from two sources; water stored in the ground and surface water in rivers, lakes and wetlands. Not many of us are aware that water takes a journey over and under land on its way to join these water sources — this area is the watershed. Watersheds supply our water making them essential to the quantity and quality of the water we receive by pipe, from wells or collect ourselves.
Much of the critical habitat for amphibian species overlap with parts of watersheds. By protecting these areas for amphibians, we can also contribute to the protection of water sources for communities around the world. These species depend on aspects of intact, functioning and healthy watersheds. And, so does the quality and quantity of the water we drink, cook, bathe and swim in.
Watersheds have been acknowledged as so critical to drinking water that many international institutions reference the link between the two. For example, the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) stresses that “sustaining or restoring the water-related services provided by ecosystems is at the heart of achieving water security for both people and nature.” Additionally, many states in the U.S. manage their watersheds to provide clean water to their major cities, including all of New York City.
- Filter and clean water destined as either surface or groundwater
- Protect existing waterways that supply water to downstream reaches
- Recharge groundwater that supplies wells and water bodies. This maintains surrounding water tables keeping water more plentiful and accessible
- Regulate water flows to assist a steady supply of water and reduce extreme flooding events that affect people and entire communities.
Water moving through a watershed is filtered and cleaned by processes that occur between soil and vegetation. Also, root systems act to keep soil in place preventing erosion. Vegetation cover keeps water and amphibians protected from changes in temperature and moisture. Changes in temperature and moisture influence water evaporation rates as well as biological functions and breeding in amphibians.
By protecting amphibian habitat in watersheds through the Leapfrog Conservation Fund, the Amphibian Survival Alliance contributes to safeguarding water resources in project areas in Latin America, Africa and Asia. In addition to providing clean water, wildlife as diverse as primates, birds, insects are protected and the value of forests and other habitat types remain for future generations. Your donations makes this possible.