The Battle River Watershed provides us with free ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are the beneficial outcomes for the natural environment and for people that result from ecosystem functions. For example, the Battle River naturally:
- Supplies water: the river carves a channel that concentrates and transports water for the environment, agriculture, industry and households
- Purifies water/treats waste: microorganisms in wetlands and riparian areas filter and breakdown pollutants protecting water quality
- Reduces floods: floodplains and wetlands absorb rain-water and river flows, reducing flood damage
- Off-sets drought: floodplains and wetlands absorb and store rainwater, slow runoff, shade water and reduce evaporation, and help recharge groundwater.
- Improves soil fertility: floods deposit fertile sediments on flood plains
- Provides food: fish, waterfowl, clams, other wildlife
- Delivers nutrients to the ocean: the Battle is part of a network of rivers that carries nutrient rich sediment to deltas and estuaries, an important food source for ocean fisheries.
- Provides habitat: for birds, fish, wildlife, etc.
- Provides beauty and recreation opportunities: scenery, boating, hunting, fishing, etc.
Some experts have calculated that the ecosystem services provided by the Battle River are valued at approximately $3.5 million per year; the Battle River's floodplains and wetlands provide an additional $80 million per year.
For more information
The Value of Natural Capital in Settled Areas of Canada.