n Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - Wetland rehabilitation : an integrated approach to protecting our ecological infrastructure : water engineering

Volume 21, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1021-2000



What constitutes a wetland is often not fully understood. Common misconceptions are that wetlands must be wet, have a river running through them, or are always situated in low-lying areas. The definition of a wetland is much broader and more textured: they are characterised more by soil properties and flora than by an abundance of water. Wetlands can be seasonal, staying dry for up to several years, or they can be permanently wet. A pan, for example, is a wetland which forms in a depression. This may even occur at the top of a hill, nowhere near a river, and dry out completely during the dry season. Wetlands also come in many sizes - they can be as small as a few square metres (e.g. at a low point along the side of a road) or cover a significant portion of a country (e.g. the Okavango Delta).

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