Water hyacinth is a very pretty plant to look at, but extremely difficult to get rid off. Apparently, water hyacinth spread so widely because people thought it was so pretty. Once it infests a water body, it basically explodes. Water hyacinth can double its mass within 5 days! Quite mind-boggling, I thought. Lots of water bodies are infested by water hyacinth with disastrous effects on the ecosystem and shipping. In fact the panama canal is also infested. Huge mowers regularly have to pass through the canal to make any shipping possible!
Our scope is related to the Valankulam tank in Coimbatore, South India. Siruthuli, the NGO we’re working together with, wants to control the water hyacinth growth in the tank so that it can be used for the fresh water supply of Coimbatore. Apparently, the water hyacinth thrives on the sewage water that is led into the tank. If you look at the tank on Google Maps you’ll see that the Valankulam tank looks almost entirely green!
Any suggestions on how to tackle the water hyacinth (incl. alternative uses) and smart treatment of sewage water are more than welcome!