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Water Quality Assessment of a Tropical Wetland Ecosystem with Special Reference to Backwater Tourism, Kerala, South India

Author Affiliations

  • 1School of Environmental Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, INDIA
  • 2Assistant Professor, PG Department of Environmental Science, St. John’s College, Anchal, INDIA
  • 3Reader, Department of Geology, University of Kerala, Kariavattom, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 1, Issue (5), Pages 62-68, December,22 (2012)

Abstract

Wetland ecosystems are estimated to cover more than 1,280 million hectares and deliver a wide range of ecosystem services that contribute to human well-beings. Degradation and loss have reduced the capacity of wetlands to provide sufficient amounts and quality of water. The continued degradation of wetlands, and more specifically the continued decline in water quantity and quality, will result in further impoverishment of human health especially for vulnerable people in developing countries. The waterborne pollutants (chemical and microbiological) have a major effect on human health and chemical pollutants accumulate in the food chain to the point where they harm people. Vembanad Kol Wetland ecosystem is one of the most attractive backwater systems in the world. Tourism is now flourishing on Vembanad Lake, especially in the Kumarakom area the southern part of the lake. As a result, many new tourism facilities (like resorts and hotels) are being built without concern for either the natural wetland system or the areas culture and heritage. Variables analysed for included air and water temperature, TDS, pH, EC, DO, BOD, total alkalinity, salinity, nitrate phosphate, hardness, sodium, potassium, calcium, and silicate. The microbial analysis of different samples consist of microbial colony count, MPN (most probable number), and the presence of enteric pathogenic organisms. The acceptable level of water quality is a minimum requisite for tourism activities in all tourism destinations. The continued degradation of wetlands specifically the continued decline in water quality will result in impoverishment of human health, especially for vulnerable people in developing countries.

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