CanopyCo carbon offsetting and reforestation in Ecuador, South America.

Trees and Water

Pristine cloud forests provide local water
Ecuador is a small country and has an incredible diversity of eco systems. With the Andes mountain range disecting the country, Ecuador has a fantastic topology that ranges from over 6000m down to sea level. Within this range there are many small microclimates created by high peaks, deep valleys or large plateaus. As a result, weather prediction is impossible on a countrywide scale as locally it can vary enormously within just a few miles.

With such topology there are many springs and streams that simply appear in the steep recesses of ravines and valleys. It is from these streams and springs that many communities obtain their water, and in built up areas, dependency tends towards large rivers or nearby mountain lakes.

Glacial meltwaters are a diminishing source of Ecuador's waterBoth sources are becoming endangered due to general climatic changes and local land use changes, as well as population growth. With changing weather patterns and deforestation, micro climatic changes have been experienced, and many water sources have been affected.

Through reforesting around these sources, we hope to both offset carbon dioxide emissions and improve fresh water catchment for local consumption.

The process is simple; as these are mountainous areas, cloudy days are common, as are mists and light rain. The presence of trees and the increased surface area presented by their leaves, provides a surface on which water from clouds can condense and subsequently drip to the ground, a process known as fog interception.

With the extra leaf cover, on sunny and windy days, less ground water will be evaporated back into the air, hence increasing the overall water content of the soil and allowing the reformation of springs and streams that will feed mountain lakes or become river tributaries.

(photo left)
Water vapour condenses on the leaves of trees and epiphytes of the forest, forming water droplets that will help increase groundwater.

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