Freshwater Life

Water is the bloodstream of the biosphere.

Well preserved freshwater habitats deliver essential functions such as the provision of drinking water, the natural purification of pollutants, the buffering of floods, the protection against erosion and climate regulation across different landscape scales.

Healthy aquatic ecosystems are defined by their water quality and quantity, their connectivity, the habitat conditions and their animal and plant diversity.

Potamogeton natans ©Willem Kolvoort

Freshwater biodiversity has suffered an enormous decline. Since 1970, the populations of freshwater species have plunged an 84%.

(Deep dive into Freshwater. Living Planet Report, WWF 2020)

Freshwater ecosystems are the habitat for more than 100.000 known species of fishes, mollusks, reptiles, insects, plants and mammals. Even though they occupy less than 1% of the Earth’s surface, they are home to a third of all vertebrates.
They are the Earth’s most threatened habitats, affected by fragmentation and destruction; invasive species; overfishing; pollution; forestry practices; hydraulic infrastructures; water extractions and climate change.
Wetlands have been reduced in more than 70% since 1900. Freshwater fishes are the vertebrates that have suffered the highest extinction rate during the 20th century

Freshwater Living Planet Index WWF 2018

Since its foundation in 2014, Andrena has funded the restoration of 9  wetlands in Spain.

Resources