Small Water Bodies for Biodiversity

With the advent of large water bodies and their individualistic issues, the focus has shifted from the importance of small water bodies, like lakes, rivers and ponds. The biodiversity that resides in them demands to be protected at all costs for survival of all living and aquatic life in the coming generations.

Small water bodies like lakes, ponds, ditches and low-water springs contribute in being the largest freshwater supplies in the world. They remain unpolluted which in turn brings a lot of flux of endangered species wanting to travel from larger, damaged water bodies. Small water bodies are crucial for maintaining freshwater biodiversity as they restore freshness and shed light over the importance of water body cleanliness. Biodiversity including loads of water creatures are often found surviving in small lakes, rivers and ponds due to less damage done to water life as compared to large seas and oceans.

Small waters are often exposed to dangers and threats because of which they remain least investigated by the water environment officials and are overlooked by water management planning committees. Most water related ecosystem management is handled by priorities for research and have been lacking basic knowledge and effective information for policy makers to protect the same. A wide range of studies and researches confirm that a stable water biodiversity can be maintained in small water bodies including various species of macrophytes, aquatic micro and microorganisms, and so on. Thus, even though in frequency small water individual bodies have just average bio-diversities, many of them come together under an umbrella and contribute to high biodiversity as a whole.

Many studies shed light over the factors responsible for high biodiversity in these areas of small water accumulations such as an inherent history and abundance of small waters, which gives them a dominant edge in the freshwater habitat compared to other water bodies. Another major impact includes the frequent occurrence of near-natural environmental fabrics around these bodies which makes them free from pollution and external rural and urban damage.  The physiochemical nature of these water bodies also makes them a perfect fit for most heterogeneity to survive and thrive in the same environment that also proves to be healthier, safer and greater than other large water bodies available.

So what makes such water bodies the way that they are, especially clean and free from all pollution? The answer of the same lies in various factors contributing to their upheaval including the geographical characteristics of where and how they are located. Their heterogeneous fabric is surrounded by woody arenas, grazed grasslands and fresh rural forest covers that make up for an abundance of freshwater habitat and water life that is free from urban dangers as compared to urban civilizations among which survival of these extremely endangered flora and fauna becomes difficult. Variations between their physiochemical properties are also influenced by local conditions around these water accumulations that help them build into a clean water ecosystem. Large water bodies, on the other hand, almost always fall prey to rural and urban pollution practices such as unwarranted waste disposal, plastic garbage disposal and other ritualistic disposal, as seen especially in our country, during festive times of Ganesh Puja, and Navratri where various idols are cremated in the oceans. This leads to the water in these large spaces getting polluted making its biodiversity prone to death and extinction.

The protection of small water bodies like lakes, rivers, especially streams, ponds and ditches which cater for a hybrid nature of ecosystem is extremely vital for any kind of aquatic life to exist in the coming generations. It is not only the country and its administration’s responsibility but the citizens who reside near them as well as to make sure that small water accumulations stay intact and safer from the outside world and their unhealthy disposal practices. Bodies that exist at a catchment and landscape levels like ponds and ditches should definitely be the crux of the citizens and water policy makers to make sure biodiversity there is well protected, maintained and conservation issues can be discussed in open.

Research shows that water temperatures at these small waters are best suitable for aquatic life to thrive healthily in the ecosystem. Terrestrial organisms are often considered to be an important part of the freshwater habitat which is the matrix of small water bodies. The contribution of small water bodies likely go ignored in environmental summits and thus, it is of utmost importance that to maintain the ecosystem fabric of the aquatic life on Earth, more protection and priority is given to these arenas, so that humans along with other living organisms, on land, air as well as on the water spaces can thrive to maintain a healthy environment for all.