Drinking water quality will suffer from climate change

  • 11.09.2022
  • earth.com

The quality of drinking water will suffer as forests disappear due to climate change, according to a new study from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). The experts note that the detrimental effects of climate change are particularly apparent in Germany’s largest drinking water reservoir, the Rappbode reservoir, which provides drinking water for roughly one million people.

Between 2015 and 2020, long periods of drought severely weakened the tree population in the Harz region, where parasites such as bark beetles had already caused a significant amount of damage. The additional strain of drought was too much for the trees, and they were quickly wiped out.

“Over the past four years, the Rappbode catchment area, characterized by conifers, primarily spruce, has lost over 50 percent of its forest,” explained UFZ hydrologist Professor Michael Rode. “This massive forest dieback is advancing rapidly and is dramatic. This will have consequences for the drinking water reservoir.”