Add clean water to reduce pollution
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Diverting non-polluted water into marshes or swamps when they are risk of pollution events may help to prevent pollutants from entering at all. For example, in April 2010, floodgates into the Barataria Bay and Breton Sound basins were opened to increase freshwater flows in an attempt to prevent oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill from entering coastal marshes in Louisiana (Martínez et al. 2012). Clean water could also be used to dilute or flush out pollutants that have already entered marshes or swamps.
Caution: Increasing freshwater inputs will reduce the salinity, which may affect vegetation and other organisms. High flow rates may cause erosion. Diluting pollutants with clean water may reduce concentrations without affecting the total amount entering a focal site.
To be summarized as evidence for this action, studies must have evaluated the effect of water diversions on marsh or swamp vegetation – not just their effectiveness at reducing pollution.
Related actions: Use artificial barriers to block pollution.
Martínez M.L., Feagin R.A., Yeager K.M., Day J., Costanza R., Harris J.A., Hobbs R.J., López-Portillo J., Walker I.J., Higgs E., Moreno-Casasola P., Sheinbaum J. & Yáñez-Arancibia A. (2012) Artificial modifications of the coast in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: quick solutions or long-term liabilities? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 10, 44–49.