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Wetlands specialist shares flooding theory- 17 March 2014

Wetlands specialist shares flooding theory- 17 March 2014

FOURWAYS- Persistent rains in Gauteng have caused many of Fourways’ roads to flood; a local wetlands specialist has a theory as to why that might be.

Paul Fairall is a wetlands and riparian remedial expert. Riparian refers to the banks of a river or other body of water.

HEAVILY DEGRADED: The heavily degraded road conditions and pools of rain water at the side of McInnes Road in Kyalami.

HEAVILY DEGRADED: The heavily degraded road conditions and pools of rain water at the side of McInnes Road in Kyalami.

Fairall claims that the reason why many of Fourways’ roads have become flooded during the heavy rains across Gauteng is partially due to most of the development in the area being made on existing wetlands.

“I have been fighting development on wetlands for 30 years and the fight is continuous,” he said.

Fairall explained that another major cause of the flooding is that the urban drainage systems in Fourways are unsustainable.

“Rivers quickly become raging torrents during heavy rains because the storm water has nowhere else to go,” he said.

Fairall suggested that, through water management programmes, the water from rainfall needs to be spread into the wetlands where it can be filtered.

“Water management is not an easy task and requires a number of specialists, from engineers to soil scientists, and it also needs to be season-based so that most of the work is done during the dry months,” he said.

The Greater Kyalami Conservancy is taking Fairall’s theory into account in their objection of the K56 road, which will traverse both the wetlands within the conservancy and an important breeding ground for the African bullfrog.

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