The Nilgiris Water

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Nedugula -(Type:Rural) This is a continuation of the Bergani valley but more extensive and large and known to be an intensive agriculture zone.



The wetlands are scattered. There is one stream which runs along the fields. Wetlands are situated in the fields and also on one end of the agricultural operation. It is as though the wetland surrounds the agriculture enclave. Sources of the stream are in the upper reaches - bringing with them significant amount of chemicals draining from agriculture operations. Where the wetland starts the flows reduce and deepen - there are other plants found which could to some extent remove pollutants. Given the size of agriculture operation and numerous. Diesel pump sets which pump out water from wetlands and standing streams and springs there is limited wetland activity for washing out the chemical processes. More in flows and outflows could have been useful for agriculture in this wetland area. A deeper study is necessary to find this process of wetland agriculture and the dependence throughout the season.

Two Badaga elders (Moddai, Sevanan) spoke about the wetlands in this area. According to them some 70 years ago - this entire valley was a large wetland (10 kms long X 50 - 75 meters wide). Those days ragi, thenai, samai, wheat, potato was being cultivated. With the advent of English vegetables - 6 ft of wetland soil strata was removed with a hand fork and soil filled for agriculture. This was basically wetland agriculture. Plots size compact with channels running criss-cross for outflow of water during rains or heavy stream flow. Apart from these small channels (like chocolates bar - design), the end had a long channel for draining into the stream perpendicular to the plots. There are 4 inflows (Nedugula Shola stream, Kaikatty, Milidhane, stream from Kapatti end) and one out flow - towards Motherland tea factory wetland and to Thengumarada finally The agriculture is done with fork - as it is wetland and machines cannot be appropriate on soft, clayey, marshy soil. Acc. to him there are 100 dugwells, 6 wells and 100 diesel pump sets. The wetland areas belong to the Government and agriculture land to the farmers. All depend on wetland sources for irrigation. They pay 150/ per farmer per year to use this water.

 Biological and Botanical Narrative:

The stream water was covered by dense mat of Rorippa indica. The water near the inflow was open showing the presence of submerged plant, Limnophila heterophilia. Small patches of Scripus were found near the sides of the stream. Rumex acetosella was seen on earthen

 Limnophila heterophilia

 bunding of the wetland as scattered

patches. In the out flow, submerged Potomogoton was seen in a secluded patch.

Birds like Pied Wagtail, Ashy prinia, cattle heron, and myna was seen. Cattle grazing were observed

 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)


no colour change



no colour change


less than 5-10



soft water, low fluoride, residual chloride and chloride content,presence of coliform


The results show lack of chloride and ammonia contents in the water and presence of coliform bacteria.

Threats: Here again there appears to be a management system by the community, which needs to be studied before any suggestions could be given.

The team visited the wetland first during the last week of January and vegetable farming for the season had just commenced. At that time the water in the inflow was clear and the water in the wetland also appeared to be clear and odourless.

When another team visited the place a month later the water reeked of pesticide and red sum could be seen floating in the inflow as well as in the wetland. The main reason for this was found to be the washing of carrots in the inflow. The carrots are grown using high amount of pesticide.

Moreover the team also found the surrounding area of the wetland, full of grasses, burned. The reason could not be investigated.




Posted by: keystone       Category: NHW Home > Wetlands       Updated: 2007-03-07 09:42:59


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