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Tackling Water Hyacinth

Essay by   •  August 24, 2013  •  Study Guide  •  298 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,044 Views

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The Problem:

Water hyacinth, the worst aquatic plant in the world has become naturalized in almost all freshwater rivers

with limited flow and lakes. It forms dense mats of impenetrable floating vegetation that impacts

Navigation

Recreation

Power generation and irrigation

Native plant populations and fish and wildlife habitat.

It rapidly reproduces and can double its population in as little as 6 to 18 days. The seeds can germinate in

several days or remain dormant for at least 20 years.

When it takes hold in rivers and canals it can become so dense that it forms a herbivorous barrage and can

cause damaging and dangerous flooding. Many of the inland waterways of south East Asia have been all

but abandoned due to intertwined carpets of the weed.

Due to the prolific growth of this plant, it can deplete water of oxygen, affecting other vegetation and

animal life in the water body.

The stagnation of water caused by its growth also provides good habitat for a variety of disease vectors

and increases evapotranspiration. It creates problems related to fishing and imbalance in the aquatic microecosystem. Its control is difficult and eradication may be unrealistic...

It is estimated that the flow of water in the Nile could be reduced by up to one tenth due to increased

losses in Lake Victoria from water hyacinth

Proposed solution:

Although water hyacinth is seen in many countries as a weed and is responsible for many of the problems

outlined earlier in this fact sheet, many individuals, groups and institutions have been able to turn the

problem around and find useful applications for the plant:

 The Mennonite Central Committee of Bangladesh has been experimenting with paper production

from water hyacinth for some years and has developed two projects.

 The production of fiberboards from water hyacinth can be used for a variety of end uses.

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