Coimbatore

Marshland restoration may help ease water crisis

Restoration of marshland in Yedapalli has helped in regeneration of native flora.   | Photo Credit: Rohan Premkumar

Conservation efforts to restore a marshland at Yedapalli, Coonoor, could have wider ramifications for water security for the rest of the town, which is currently facing a crippling water crisis.

Efforts have been under way to restore the degraded marsh since February this year, with local NGO, Clean Coonoor, planting over 3,000 native grasses in 1.5 acres of the marshland, with the assistance of the Nilgiris district administration.

Officials from the Coonoor Municipality, who plan to dig borewells in the area surrounding the marsh, said that the restoration has already seemingly had an effect on groundwater levels in the area.

“We are in the process of digging more wells in the area, which will hopefully ease the water crisis in Coonoor, with tankers being used to transport water from the wells to the areas most affected,” said an official from the Coonoor Municipality.

P.J. Vasanthan, trustee of Clean Coonoor, said that following the restoration, which involved the planting of native Chrysopogon nodulibarbis grasses, the water quality has visually improved, and the marsh itself changing from a slushy swamp to a “spongy bog,” and the quality of the water accumulating in the marsh improving to such an extent that it is fit to drink straight from the collection points.

Conservationists have also witnessed spontaneous regeneration of native grasses and shrubs in Yedapalli. “What we see is that when native flora take root, other native species also come up around the marsh,” said Mr. Vasanthan.

Such has been the success of the restoration project that conservationists hope to expand the restoration to eight acres of the Yedapalli marsh, to replenish groundwater levels. “The conservation and restoration of the marsh serves as an example that by helping native ecology to re-establish itself, human communities too could prosper,” said a municipal official.


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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 1:51:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/marshland-restoration-may-help-ease-water-crisis/article28740671.ece

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