U.S. Department of Agriculture: Forest Service -- National Agroforestry Center



Date of this Version

August 2006


Published by USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC), East Campus – UNL, Lincoln, NE 68583-0822. Website http://www.unl.edu/nac


Water is a precious national resource. Often, human activities degrade the quality of the water in the streams, lakes, estuaries, wetlands, and aquifiers on which we depend. Pollutants from agricultural and urban sources have made many of our waters unsuitable for swimming and fishing. Excessive sedimentation, pesticides, and fertilizers are harming fish and other aquatic life. Changes in land use also have had a dramatic effect on floodwater damage and frequency. Both surface and subsurfaceAgroforestry drinking water supplies are being impacted by human activities.

Water quality is the end result of the individual actions of all the “neighbors” in a watershed. Rural landowners and community residents need to look beyond their own boundaries to improve water quality and coordinate water resource management.

Working Trees can help alleviate water quality and quantity problems. From upland areas down to the water’s edge, Working Trees reduce and slow runoff and trap pollutants in both rural and urban settings.

Working Trees means putting the right trees in the right places, and in the correct design, to do specific jobs. Land managers, community planners, and watershed residents can all use Working Trees to make high quality water a reality.

This brochure illustrates water resource problems and ways that WORKING TREES FOR WATER QUALITY are a part of the solution.