Addis Ababa University has launched a plan to strengthen the culture of scholarly interaction within the university community as well as to the broader public. In line with this, all schools, institutes and colleges were requested to hold public lectures of significance topics for sustainable development and scientific endeavor.
Ethiopian Institute Water Resources started the public lecture series with the new program in November 2023 continues monthly. Dr Solomon Gebreyohannis Gebrehiwot from WLRC- REACH project was invited to speak on December 30 on “What can forests do to water? A water security perspective”
Forest-water is a debated topic both internationally and nationally. There is a national agenda in Ethiopia on “Green Legacy” which possesses a mega tree plantation project. For this and for other projects, the role forests on water, specifically where water security is a problem need to be scientifically evaluated with evidences. Dr Gebrehiwot’s talk focused on the past, the existing and future forests with the perspective of water security by integrating local and global evidences.
Specifically, the two public-perceptions: forests are good for water and forests are bad for water were discussed with citing of state-of-the-art studies. Influences on incoming rain, infiltration, watershed storage, streamflow, groundwater recharge, evapotranspiration was discussed comparing to existing or change of different forests. Conclusions without clear understanding of forest change cases ;ecological situations; time, space and type of forest and its change would cause unanticipated result on water security.