WC132 SeptOct 2023 - Magazine - Page 36
What do wetlands really do for our water?
CAMROSE CREEK, ALBERTA
Research shows that wetlands, serving as
natural infrastructure in this Alberta watershed,
provide ecosystem services and environmental
benefits at an estimated value of:
Z $1.25 million in flood protection
Z $1.8 million in social benefits
Z Approximately 900,000 tonnes of carbon stored
They clean it.
When the town of St-Pierre-Jolys began using
a wetland to clean water flowing from its lagoon,
water tests showed that phosphorus levels
rivers and lakes
CASE STUDY: SOUTHERN ONTARIO
Z Phosphorus in the lagoon water was more than
70% higher than allowed by provincial guidelines.
Z On average, the wetland reduced phosphorus load
by 60%, bringing it well below the concentration
allowed by provincial guidelines.
Z The phosphorus in the wetland-treated water
was lower or more diluted than the river water
it was released into.
Research near Lake Erie has shown that
restored wetlands are effective at removing
excess nutrients that can fuel blue-green
algae outbreaks. Wetlands in the study all
received surface-water runoff from agriculture
fields. Findings showed the wetlands:
Z Retained 60% of soluble reactive phosphorus.
Z Retained 46% of total phosphorus and
47% of total nitrogen
Freshwater is necessary for supporting life and our
well-being. It shouldn’t threaten us. But the consequences of
climate change and habitat loss are impacting Canada’s water supply.
Learn about how natural infrastructure
can help keep our rivers, lakes and
beaches healthy, for all to enjoy.
WATER C AN ADA • SEP TEMBER/OCTOBER 2023
Contact us to discuss natural infrastructure
projects that can help clean and manage your
community’s water, including wastewater.
WAT E R C A N A D A . N E T