Water Quality Assessments in the Opeta Bisina and Mburonakivale Wetland Systems
Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems on earth. They have been described as the kidneys of the landscape because they function as the downstream receivers of water and waste from both natural and human sources (Mitsch & Gosselink, 2007). They stabilize water supplies, thus ameliorating both floods and drought. They serve as sources, sinks, and transformers of nutrients; and they are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet when compared to adjacent terrestrial and deep water aquatic systems. A detailed account of wetland functions is presented in Keddy (2000). Factors such as temperature, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen; turbidity and pH interact to influence the abundance and distribution of biodiversity in wetland ecosystems. Variation in these parameters is influenced by the underlying geology, climatic factors, and land-use practices within the landscape. For example conductivity may increase in wetlands draining intensively cultivated watersheds and urban areas. An assessment was carried out on the above parameters in order to establish their baseline condition and explore possible human impacts on the wetlands.
- Natural Sciences