The main water catchment areas are the wetlands. These are areas where rivers and other natural water sources originate. It is in the best interest of everyone to protect these lands along with the ecological environment around the area.
Environmental experts such as the Open Permaculture School and Regenerative Leadership Institute advise people to undertake hands-off approach when maintaining the wetlands. The hands-off approach means that the maintenance efforts do not by any chance alter the hydrological and ecological environment in which the wetlands sits. If the environment is changed, there are chances that there shall be negative effects on the water cycle. It also means that there are minimal activities that take place in the land except those that are meant to enhance the wetland. Here are some common activities that you can undertake a part of enhancing the wetland environment.
Creating greenbelts and buffers
Creating vegetative buffers and greenbelts help in protecting the wetlands against human encroachment. A greenbelt is a strip of land surrounding a wetland and occupied by natural vegetation. If the natural vegetation was removed, the rehabilitation of such an area involves planting native shrubs, trees, and ground cover while cutting down on the use of pesticides and the fertilizers.
The vegetation around the wetlands takes up the excess minerals and pollutants in the wetland thereby protecting it. The strip also slows down the velocity of the overflow from the wetland lowering the soil erosion and allowing water to percolate into the soils.
The buffers also provide a barrier against visual and noise disturbance from human beings. Some wildlife is sensitive to human noise from urban areas and frequent disturbance from people.
What happens in the wetland’s watershed affects what happens in the wetlands. Even with the formation of a buffer, pollution in the upstream will still cause adverse effects on the wetland. Some of the main areas that are affected on the wetland include too much sediment, pollutants from pesticides, fertilizers, and storm water.
It is good to establish native vegetation on the adjacent lands to meet the needs of the wildlife that live in the eco-system. You may also create artificial nesting to help shore up the numbers of the wildlife in the ecosystem. It is important to plan the adjacent lands in a way that shields the wetland from pollution storms and any adverse environmental problem. A water catchment area that is well taken care of ensures that there is enough water for use by population, plants, and wildlife downstream.