Water preservation project ‘AQUABRAVA’
This LEADER-funded project created several small wetlands and helped raise awareness of and interest in water protection among landowners. It also contributed to increasing the amount of available water in the island of Gotland.
Since the 1990’s, access to ground water has been declining in the island of Gotland, Sweden. Private dug wells have been drying out, which is problematic especially for livestock farmers who have been obliged to tap water from a municipal water catchment.
The ‘Aquabrava’ project supported the creation of an additional eight wetlands and ponds with a total area of 10 ha. The project further set up a monitoring system, including metrics, methods and templates, and applied it in the year following the construction of the wetlands to document changes. Finally, a series of lectures and meetings were conducted to raise awareness and promote the construction or restoration of wetlands among landowners.
The efficiency of the wetland system was improved when the autumn rain filled all wetlands and increased water levels in wells closest to the system within a week.
The method has proved to be cost-efficient as the costs are limited to construction and maintenance.
Another advantage of the wetland system is that it is largely located on pasture land, thus providing the cattle with constant access to water.
Additionally, the wetland system provides a buffer zone reducing the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea.
Finally, the wetland system provides social benefits – it has become a recreational area for strolls in the summer time and for ice-skating in the winter.