While it’s true that trees consume water, they also help conserve it.
Imagine a parking lot with no trees. A storm darkens the sky and unleashes a drenching rain. The resulting runoff washes across the parking lot and flows into a nearby storm drain, which funnels the water to the San Diego River and eventually the Pacific Ocean. The problem with this scenario is that little of that rain is absorbed.
Now visualize a parking lot full of trees. When the downpour comes, leaves break the force of falling rain. They also retain from 2 to 7 percent of the water produced by a short downpour, allowing it to evaporate back into the atmosphere.
As the rain falls more slowly, the runoff slows down and soaks into planters or other landscaped areas. Tree roots also bind the soil and guard against erosion. They also absorb water that would otherwise increase the flow of runoff.For more information about the great things trees do for the environment, visit our friends at the Arbor Day Foundation at arborday.org/stormwater