Pine beetle infestation radically increases downstream runoff: professor

Research indicates mountain pine beetles are likely to cause water problems for communities downstream of the forests they infest.

Increased runoff from dead forests is likely to reduce the quality of the water in the streams and rivers that flow out of them, says Uldis Silins, a professor at the University of Alberta.

He suggests water treatment plants will have to be able to filter out more sediment and organic nutrients. As well, rivers downstream of the beetle-infected forests could also suffer algae blooms.