ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF PONDS: The need to conserve Pond Ecosystems.

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By – Sadhvika Chandrasekar

Ponds provide food, water, shelter, and act as a breeding ground for indigenous wildlife and aquatic animals. Despite being an inherent part of the biosphere, ponds and similar aquatic-systems are usually considered irrelevant to global water problems, ignored in majority of environmentally vital situations like carbon processing.Ponds directly connect with the surrounding living community, maintain cultural and economic resources, the water widely used for irrigation, livestock, bathing and washing, flood alleviation, diffusing pollution from intensive agriculture & urban run-off. These freshwater-bodies are increasingly threatened.Ponds can assist in removal of pollutants, fertilizer, sediment run-off, reducing nutrient-load in receiving water bodies, by nutrient retention. Larger ponds are also used as commercial fisheries.

PONDS AND SUSTAINABILITY Ponds provide sustainable solutions to issues regarding water-management like rainfall interception & carbon sequestration. At a landscape level, this freshwater habitat is critical in maintaining biodiversity but equally vulnerable to degradation. With proper planning, ponds can bring major benefits in terms of biodiversity, pollution alleviation, flood relief & climate change.

Image of a Pond. Pic Courtesy : India Water Portal

WATER CONSERVATION & PONDS Processes in small water-bodies like ponds tend to have global significance, hence their role and contribution to global ecosystem processes should be emphasized. Ponds, despite their limited capacity, could be used for water storage. Implementation of small-scale storage techniques could significantly contribute to food & water security and economic prosperity at community level.Conservation of ponds must be included in policy decisions in managing agricultural landscapes and are being increasingly appreciated as a significant contributor to developing local communities, especially lower income households, urban and peri-urban areas.Constructing strategically located pond-networks can significantly reduce water loss by naturally harvesting rainwater, avoiding flooding, maintaining groundwater levels, thus providing sustainable solutions to climate change issues and management of scarce water resources.

Pond Conservation is the need of Hour. Pic Courtesy : India Water Portal Website

NEED FOR WATER CONSERVATION India accounts for over 18% of global human population but only has 4% global renewable water resources. According to the recent census, India’s population is to increase to 1.64 billion by 2050. Gross per-capita water availability, which was 1820 m3/year in 2001, will decline to 1140 m3/year by 2050. The country will face nearly 5 times decline in water availability which calls for sustainable water conservation measures to cater to the needs of the ever-expanding population.

PONDS ARE A NECESSARY FUTURE REQUIREMENT No city can be smart unless it uses the entirety of its natural resources smartly, and water is the foremost of them. Sustainable solutions lie in harvesting rainwater, storage, to meet the ‘Smart City’ populace, with ponds as water reservoirs an essential model in these cities.Our revered PM Modi, stresses water conservation in Mann Ki Baat, announcing the campaign “The catch the rain”.

Environment Club is running “Paani ki Baat” Campaign under which we are spreading awareness about the Water Conservation. We would love to have more people involved in our attempts to conserve water, directly or indirectly. Apart from organizing drives and in-person campaigns, we also give people an opportunity to participate digitally by taking our online ‘Oath’ to preserve water, which is available on our website. You can access the link to the oath at “http://environmentclub.org/paani-ki-baat/“. We would greatly appreciate if you help spread the word, take the oath, and do your part in preserving and conserving water, the elixir of life, without which there is no planet, there are no people and no future.