Eco-Rehabilitation and Improvement of Water Plant and Animal Species

Author Name(s): Оlga Yu. Derevenskaya, Angelina V. Pichugina, Nafisa M. Mingazova
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From 2011 to 2013, in the water area of Kuibyshev Reservoir in the Kazan region (Russia), the artificial plots of land were created in the process of land reclamation. As a result, 600 hectares of flooded islands, breeding grounds, and channels were filled with sand. The system of artificial land plots was formed, connected with the existing islands. And the part of the Volga River, enclosed by them, turned into a relatively landlocked body of water. In the process of land reclamation, the destruction of the water body, fauna and flora of water area and islands was revealed. The research, conducted in July-August 2018, revealed the “blooming” of water, intensifying at the end of summer, and leading to an increase in water pH (up to 9 units), and supersaturation of the surface layers of water with oxygen. Significant changes in the abundance and biomass of zooplankton, the dominance of indicator species of eutrophic waters, and disturbance of the community structure have been revealed. The zoobenthos community is characterized by a simplified structure, low values of quantitative indicators, and the dominance of a group, which is resistant to water pollution. According to the index of Woodiviss, the reservoir is “very dirty” – “dirty.” The draft project of eco-rehabilitation and improvement of the area was developed. The project provides for the scouring of channels, restoration of wood and shrubby vegetation, grass cover on reclaimed territories, strengthening of shore, creation of a road-path network, lighting, and recreation areas.


Provision of the population with water, the quality of water and the possibility of its improvement are currently the most acute problems in many countries of the world. Significant concentration of urban population, the sharp increase in industrial, agricultural, transport, energy and other anthropogenic emissions have led to the deterioration in water quality. Water bodies are under the influence of anthropogenic impacts of various types, including from reclamation works. In megacities, it is more profitable for the real estate developer to construct buildings on reclamation grounds, than to buy the plots of existing land. This is the reason for the creation of numerous sand areas, threatening the state of the environment. As a result of reclamation, the deep and long-term damage to the environment can be caused, and the self-cleaning ability of the reservoir can be significantly reduced. The implementation of hydraulic projects in the water areas of reservoirs, without a proper assessment of the environmental impact, can significantly worsen its ecological state, and create the problems with the provision of population with drinking water. Kuibyshev reservoir is the largest artificial water body, created on the Volga River. The main purpose of the reservoir is to generate electricity, to improve shipping, the supply of water, irrigation, and fishing. From 2011 to 2013, the artificial plots of land were reclaimed in the water area of Kuibyshev reservoir, in Kazan (Russia). As a result of hydraulic filling, the system of artificial land plots was formed, connected with the existing islands, and the part of the Volga River, enclosed by them, turned into a relatively landlocked body of water. The purpose of the work is to assess the state and to develop the recommendations for ecological rehabilitation of the territories, affected by a large-scale reclamation.


In the process of land reclamation the spawning grounds and habitats of waterfowl are disturbed; the abundance of bottom invertebrates is reduced. Isolated parts of the river become boggy, flora and fauna die, biological resources are damaged. Land reclamation destroys the shallow waters, cleaning the river. This leads to intensive “blooming” of water, caused by phytoplankton. Kuibyshev reservoir is the most important water body in Russia. It has drinking and fishery significance. Filling of shallow waters and the creation of artificial territories reduced the self-cleaning ability of the river, contributed to the emergence of water “blooming” in the newly formed bay. Poor quality of water in the river can threaten public health. To reduce the environmental risk, it is necessary to implement the project of environmental rehabilitation and subsequent development of the coastal zone.

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