Ecological opportunities and constraints for wetland restoration for water quality enhancement

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Adwoa Awuah

Publication Date:

It is internationally recognised that a number of wetland ecosystem services contribute to improving water quality, namely: nitrate, phosphate, and toxicant assimilation; sediment trapping, and erosion control. Although the South African Working for Wetlands Programme, whose objective is to protect wetlands, promotes wise-use and restoration of degraded wetlands, has made significant strides in restoring degraded wetlands nationally, a large portion of the South Africa’s water resources remain in poor condition. In order to assist Working for Wetlands and other restoration initiatives, a set of published guidelines were developed to aid in selecting restoration sites, assessing wetland condition and functionality, and evaluating restoration interventions. These include the WET-Prioritise, WET-Health, WET-EcoServices and WET-RehabEvaluate, respectively. This presentation aims to draw from case studies on how an outcomes-based approach, which includes an assessment of opportunities and constraints of wetland features for restoration, can add value and strengthen the existing abovementioned guidelines with regard to the improvement of water quality-related ecosystem services. The assessment of the ecological constraints and opportunities of key wetland features includes, but is not limited to: condition, land cover, potential to increase contact time, source of water inputs, wetland attributes, wetland context, and wetland area to be enhanced. These features, which are associated with the wetland’s capability to contribute towards improving water quality, can inform the selection of wetland restoration sites, which specifically contribute towards improved water quality, prioritising restoration interventions within a subset of restoration sites as well as contributing to the evaluation of wetlands post-implementation of restoration interventions.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Society for Ecological Restoration