Water-Conservation Forests

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Water-Conservation Forests


a category of forests created along the banks of large rivers, lakes, reservoirs, canals, and other bodies of water to improve the water balance and hydrological conditions, reduce soil erosion in the basins of rivers and lakes, and improve water quality, especially in the steppe and forest-steppe zones of the European USSR.

Forests slow the movement of air masses, intensify frontal processes in the atmosphere, increase air convection, and increase precipitation. (For example, on the plains of the European USSR, the total annual precipitation increases by 10–15 mm for every 10 percent increase in forest area.) The creation of a favorable microclimate by the forests and the retention of water runoff from the basins results in the maintenance of a high water level in the rivers and in an increase in the groundwater supply.


Rakhmanov, V. V. Vodookhrannaia rol’ lesov. Moscow, 1962.
Rubtsov, M. V. Zashchitnovodookhrannye lesa. Moscow, 1972.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.