Plants and animals are under threat

Hanover / Kiel. The Lower Saxony State Office of Water Management, Coastal Protection and Nature Conservation has warned of extremely low water levels in many water bodies due to drought. As a result, plant and animal habitats are lost, said business unit manager Astrid Dick. This is not least the result of human labor. The straightening of many bodies of water makes it difficult for the typical species to spread again.

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Species are also critically endangered in SH

According to the Ministry of the Environment in Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein is less affected by drought than other federal states. However, water levels in individual waterways are currently in the low average water level range. This can reduce the population size of sensitive species at the local level. Spokesman Jonas Hebel says local extinction can occur even if it dries up. So some water authorities have imposed a ban on taking water from surface waters, while others forbid kayaking when water levels are low in order to protect the fauna and flora.

Nabu: These habitats are affected

According to the Union for the Conservation of Nature in Schleswig-Holstein (Naboo), in addition to swamps, many streams have been drying up regularly since 2018. Other affected habitats are beech forests, wet meadows, vegetation and special biotopes with good exposure to the sun. “The heat there is so great that the plants wilt and the insects that live there dry up,” says Thomas Bernds. Many aquatic insects are currently in serious danger, including floating beetles such as caddis flies and species of dragonfly. According to the biologist, large areas of agricultural grassland are also not drought tolerant.

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salmer mour silt

The Salmer Moor area is the area experiencing the most dramatic water loss. “So much water has been lost that in Randlag at a depth of 1.5 meters there is now barren sand open in the places of excavation and the dune tiger beetle occurs.” The reasons are disputed between the Nature Conservancy and the state environment agency. “The authorities blame the lack of rainfall,” says Bernds.

Water as an endangered resource

It is necessary to fundamentally rethink society and the economy in dealing with water, which will be an endangered resource. Water must be provided. Also, rainwater should not be drained and drained, but rather contribute to the formation of new groundwater through filtration. According to the Ministry of Environment, it is currently working on developing a basis for sustainable water use.

Precipitation no longer falls evenly

Precipitation is relatively balanced throughout the year. However, according to the Landesnaturschutzverband Schleswig-Holstein eV (LNV), the state’s climate protection report assumes that precipitation will not fall evenly. As a result, there will be more dry seasons with drought risks, especially in summer.

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Thus, the Federal Department of Environment’s Natural Climate Protection Action Program and the state’s biodiversity strategy will try to contribute to species conservation, for example by re-wetting swamps, says Christoph Martin, LNV vice president.

Re rivers

The Schleswig-Holstein Nature Conservancy, which owns 2 percent of the state’s 38,000 hectares, is working to make sure there is enough water inland. According to press spokeswoman Jana Schmidt, rivers are naturally reconfigured so that water overflows their banks, stores in the landscape and returns when the water level drops. In addition, the typical vegetation will be settled in the river areas.

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In addition, experts from the foundation have started Rey of Offenbuteller Moor, Telenautal, Fluschenmore, Grootmore, and Herrenmore.

“Wetland rehabilitation means that rainwater recedes, then slowly seeps into the groundwater, thus also securing our drinking water supply,” says Christoph Martin of LNV.

Supply of ground water and drinking water

According to the Nature Conservancy SH There are already groundwater supply problems in the Tren pool area. Funding can lower the groundwater level regionally.

According to the Ministry of the Environment in Kiel, the public drinking water supply in Schleswig-Holstein comes to a large extent from areas of deep groundwater, so that the past years of drought have not had any significant effects. Both surface water and groundwater levels are constantly monitored by the State Bureau of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas.

Conservation through Diversity WGs

“We don’t have species extinctions like in the Oder, but you can’t say what it will look like in ten years,” Jana Schmidt says. The Foundation is transforming “boring brown fields into diverse condominiums” and thus already contributes to climate protection and species protection 259 times: “Sewage systems are removed, the typical wild vegetation of the area is resettled and ponds of frogs are created. This creates habitats for meadow birds and amphibians. and insects,” the spokeswoman explains. Hardy cattle like Galloways will eventually act as eco-mowers.

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