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Wetlands can be drained to prevent methanogenesis. The downside is oxidation of carbon reservoirs in these wetlands.



Soil moisture influences methane budgets.  A substantial fraction of the World’s land surface is artificially drained, and this may be extended to other wetlands.  Pumped drainage, as in the Netherlands and New Orleans, allows water tables to be set below sea level.

Category of the action


What actions do you propose?

Who will take these actions?

Where will these actions be taken?

What are other key benefits?

Due to the need to minimise losses, a careful study of local ecology and hydrology will be required (both field and modelling).  As a result, knowledge benefits are to be expected.  Further, there is a possibility for agricultural/forestry use of drained lands, bringing economically unproductive areas into use.  This could have co-benefits for carbon management by the use of land for no-till agriculture, forestry for building products, or energy crops.

What are the proposal’s costs?

The modelling costs to prove the principle are likely to be very low.  They can be absorbed into a university research programme without difficulty.  Deployment costs depend on method and scale.  A multi-million dollar budget per river system should be expected.  Interventions such as a major tidal barrier project will likely cost in the region of $100m-$1bn.

Time line

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