Ecosystem Dependence on Water

 Why do ecosystems depend so heavily on water?
  • Water has lots of oxygen (from the atmosphere as rain)  
  • It is essential for photosynthesis in aquatic plants like algae (reactant in process of photosynthesis- See diagram below)
  • Nutrients in water, like nitrates are essential for growth and sources of food (rotting plants)
  • Rivers are supplying food and jobs to people
  • It is a vital part of the tourism industry, for example using river boats
  • It is a popular part for aqua sports, like the Midmar Mile at the Midmar Dam near Howick in KZN.

Many swimmers depend on clean water when entering the Midmar Mile, the largest open water swimming event in the world.


The Midmar Dam is found close to Howick in KZN and forms part of the  Umgeni River.