A wetland is an open water body that is considered to be the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving home to a wide range of plant and animal life. The typical characteristics of a wetland can be largely defined under chemical, physical and biological. Healthy wetland and their shores have a number of functions, including water purification, water storage, processing of carbon and other nutrients, stabilization of shorelines, and support of plants and animals with a number of environmental benefits. Proper lake function provides food and habitat for a diverse array of plants and animals. They act as buffers to flooding and erosion and reduce the impact of floods and droughts by storing large amounts of water and releasing it during shortages. Therefore, wetlands play an important role in the global water cycle.
Source: USGS Document, Circular 1311, Lake-Level Variability and Water Availability in the Great Lakes
Types of Wetlands
There are many types and sub-types of wetlands present in every continent such as swamp, marsh, bog, fen, mangrove forest, carr, pocosin, floodplains, mire, vernal pool, sink etc. The Amazon River basin, the West Siberian Plain, the Pantanal, and the Sundarbans are considered as some of the largest wetlands in the world.
Uses of Wetlands
One of the most important benefits that wetlands provide is their capacity to maintain and improve water quality. When healthy, wetlands have a rich natural diversity of plants and animals. These can act as filtering systems, removing sediment, nutrients, and pollutants from water. Wetlands are a cost-effective and sustainable solution to prevent, reduce and control freshwater and marine and coastal pollution. Wetlands have a biosphere significance and societal importance in the following areas such water shortage, Groundwater replenishment, Shoreline stabilisation, Water purification, Reservoirs of biodiversity, Pollination, Wetland products, Cultural values, Recreation and Tourism and Climate change mitigation.
In India, most parts of the developing activities are depended on lakes and rivers for disposal and various anthropogenic activities that can change the basic chemistry of wetlands due to interaction with toxic chemicals, biodegradable waste, and ionized substances. Since, wetland water has been used for drinking, agriculture and many water-related purposes, understanding of hydrological chemistry of wetlands is essential in identifying the origin of the chemical constituents and contaminants, whether from the natural or anthropogenic processes.
Mitra S. K. Pvt. Ltd. is recognized globally for testing, inspection, and certification. It has internationally accredited analytical laboratories that are certified in over a thousand parameters of chemical analysis. This broad scope allows us to test contaminants and their chemical properties. Keeping in view the above gap, such investigation of wetlands under the MSK umbrella associated with government bodies will be very useful and provide insight so that any policy decision can be implemented on a larger scale for wetlands management.