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THE UPSIDE OF WATER WEEDS

THE UPSIDE OF WATER WEEDS

THE UPSIDE OF WATER WEEDS

To day’s (Jan 4, 12) DC carried a report on the weed clogged water ways and water bodies of the state. Well, all said and done, there is a hidden upside of the weed menace. The fact of the matter is the role of the weeds in sequestering carbon in their biomass. Recent investigations have brought to light the large and significant role of these aquatic plants, rooted plants in the marshes and finally the microscopic algae in the water in carbon sequestration.

In the context of the CO2 driven climate change, any process or organism that can remove Carbon from carbon dioxide is a god send angel to lock up the Carbon. It has been estimated by the scientific community that all the terrestrial or land based ponds and water bodies jointly lock in as much carbon as the seawater annually. In the scientific parlance the ponds (large and small and including the lily pond in the front yard of the standalone homes across the world) play this carbon sequestration role exceedingly well. In fact the International Limnological Association by definition has included ponds that are capable of holding water at least for part of the year and not through the whole year.

So before we decry the weed infestation, we have to think of the positive role these weeds in removing carbon from the atmospheric carbon dioxide and thus considerably reduce the size of the carbon foot print of nations and regions.

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