There is a long history of the discourse on how forests cause rainfall. It was then replaced with the paradigm that forests are found in rainy areas and are not the cause of the rain itself. It was felt that forests were net consumers of water due to evapotranspiration. In recent decades scientific studies have started unravelling how forests are capable of influencing rainfall positively.
The impact of forests on rainfall through mechanisms such recycling of evapotranspiration or moistening the air passing over them was earlier reported for large forested regions such as the Amazon. There is evidence that this could influence rainfall quite far away from the forested regions.
Until recently there was no evidence for this phenomena in the Indian sub continent which doesn’t have the very large contiguous forested areas comparable to other parts of the tropics. We examine in this talk the evidence from our region and what this implies for India’s ecological and water security.