Today, let's celebrate wetlands day !
Wetlands are vital and beneficial to our ecosystem, they provide flood protection, shoreline erosion control, biodiversity habitat, enhanced water quality, and fisheries production, among other benefits.Wetland and wetland vegetation affects runoff volumes and water quality through:
1- transpiration, which affects soil moisture and streamflow
2- dissipation of raindrop energy, which affects runoff rates
3- decomposition of organic matter, which facilitates infiltration and increases soil water storage
4- export of logs and debris, which affects streamflow
5- soil fixation by roots, which affects erosion rates and
6- vegetative uptake and microbial nutrient cycling
Fiji 🇫🇯, Solomon Islands 🇸🇧 and Papua New Guinea 🇵🇬 will all experience higher intensity and frequency of extreme rainfall days, while the majority of regional climate forecast simulations show an increase in the proportion of severe cyclones. These projections translate into greater impacts on flood risk in the watersheds! Wildlife Conservation Society under the regional Kiwa #WISH+ project has developed a conceptual model indicating how interactions between extreme precipitation and storm events and watershed modification can result in illness (for people and nature) through three non-exclusive pathways:
- damage to existing water and wastewater infrastructure by floodwaters;
- crowding of people and animals during floods;
- poor water quality due to increased sediment, nutrients, and particulates in river runoff.
Follow our ongoing series on social media on the Kiwa WISH+ regional project that aims to integrate watershed management at key sites in Fiji, Solomon, Islands, and Papua New Guinea.