Water security is threatened by the rapid growth of the human population in areas where there were native forests before coupled with climate change scenarios. One of the main elements which ensures water security is water stored in soil, which is fundamental for maintaining ecohydrological processes at the watershed scale under forest land-use change. In South America, aiming to restore and recover changing catchment areas, best management practices (BMP) have been widely proposed as a strategy for water-forest resource sustainability. Based on forest evapotranspiration demand, this chapter presents fundamental concepts related to soil-water-forest cycles, watershed restoration, and case studies of BMPs in South American watersheds (e.g., Brazilian and Colombian projects for watershed conservation or restoration). It has become clear that there is an opportunity in setting baseline data and quantifying the effectiveness of these BMPs. By using ecohydrological monitoring and suitable indicators of these BMPs in the long term, an integrated understanding of water-forest relationships is needed. Furthermore, the more successful watershed management projects are, the more effective decision-making regarding BMP linking water and forests is.
Part of the book: Topics in Hydrometerology