How do wetlands work?

What is a wetland?

As the name would suggest, a wetland is an area of land that is covered in water either permanently, seasonally or intermittently depending on the climate of the area.  

Why are wetlands important?

Wetlands are important ecosystems that provide a broad variety of habitats within a small area including aquatic and terrestrial environments in which plants, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish and water bugs live.  Biodiversity (the variety of living things) is often very high in wetland ecosystems and are therefore very important environments to protect and enhance.  Of particular importance is ensuring the adaptability of these vital ecosystems as we feel the impacts of climate change now and into the future.

Plants that live in the water also help clean the water that enters the wetland by taking up nutrients which they use for growth.  So effective are wetlands at filtering water, artificial wetlands are used in some areas to help treat storm water in urban environments.

Wetlands also provide important breeding and nursery areas for native fish and frog species.

What kind of wetland is the Marrambidya wetland?

The Marrambidya Wetland has been created from the disused treatment ponds of the Narrung Street Sewage Treatment Works.  This wetland will be unlike a natural wetland in that water will constantly be allowed to enter the system throughout the year.  However the releases will be aligned to mimic the natural wetland system where the flow will increase over winter and decreased during summer.

Excess water from the Marrambidya Wetland is released into the Murrumbidgee River.

Water Quality

Regular water quality monitoring will be conducted at the Marrambidya Wetland to test for temperature, salinity, pH and other nutrients.  The monitoring will ensure that the water quality in the wetland stays consistent with the water quality found in natural wetlands.  These activities will help Council to ensure the water in the wetland is of suitable quality for wetland plants and animals.