The Nilgiris Water

Get Involved
Keystone Foundation



Annaikal via Sandy Nallah & Hungerford Estate - Governors' Shola-(Type:Rural)

Though we did not find any wetland here - but we passed through a wetland through the Hungerford estate and this is like the top of the watershed. It is a Toda settlement - Kundah Kode mund. In local parlance wetlands are called “Hadda” and some of these may have been here before, according to a Toda elder. Lower down in the valley intensive cultivation of carrots take place in small patches - water table is shallow there. Swamps may have been converted into small agricultural plots. Wetlands are typically boundaries for Todas in this area.

'Hanni' in Bergani -(type:Rural).

Hanni is the Badaga term for wetland. This is a typical wetland agricultural valley. Wetlands here are tapped for drinking water and irrigation purposes. In this area there are 3 wetlands - one minor and two major. The two major ones have been protected by a cement cover and steps go down to the spring. In the agricultural area - the swamps vary in size and depth, but almost all the farmers utilize these water sources for agriculture purposes. Due to the swampy texture and wetland the agricultural tool is also appropriate - a hand held fork. Most of these areas - where the wetland was deep - marshy soil has been removed partly and filled in with black soil for agriculture. Wetland has not been drained - as springs emerge from below.


Biological and Botanical Narrative:

The wetland in Bergani was a small patch with profuse growth of Polygonum spp. Rumex acetosella growth was seen on the earthen bunds. The stream near the wetland showed the growth of Graminoids, like Cyperus spp. and Solanum verbasifolium on the edges. The wetland has been converted into an agricultural field leaving the small patch as a remnant.

Egret, unknown (very common species) bird was seen eating insects from the field which were ploughed. Cattle grazing were observed in the field. Frogs were found in the marshy fields.

Myna birds were siting on the buffaloes and eating ticks, flees.

Numeric criteria:

Water quality:


Permissible limits

Observed value




Temperature (0C)







1.0 (max)


Residual Chloride (mg/l)



Phosphorous (mg/l)


Iron (mg/l)



Hardness (mg/l)



Chlorides (mg/l)






less than 5-10



mediumt water, low fluoride and chloride content,presence of coliform

The wetland water contains high iron and has low pH value, the same was true for two water samples tested, one from the well and other from the spring. Both showed the presence of coliform bacteria, pH of around 4.7 and high iron content.

Iron is of little concern as a health hazard but is still considered a nuisance in excessive qualities. Iron in excess of .3mg/l causes staining of clothes and utensils. The Higher concentration of iron is not suitable for processing of food, beverages, ice, dyeing, bleaching and many items. Water with higher concentration of iron which is used in preparation of tea and coffee, interacts with tannins to give a black inky appearance with a metallic taste. Coffee may even become unpalatable at concentration of iron more than 1.0 mg/l. Potatoes also turn on boiling in such type of water. Iron in higher concentration may also cause vomiting. The limits on iron in waters are based on aesthetic and taste consideration rather than its physiological effects.


There does not appear to be any apparent threats to the existing wetland here. There exists a water management and sharing understanding in the community, which they community was not very willing to share with the outsiders.

A check-dam had been constructed which according to some people was more of a problem than solution to the water shortage they faced especially from march to may.



Posted by: keystone       Category: NHW Home > Wetlands       Updated: 2007-03-08 00:54:30


News and Events
March 19 & 20
Sacred Groves Festival 
Village Meetings
Sigur Report Oct-06
Water User  Aug-06 
Water  Group July-06