From Iceland — Tjörnin Pond In Danger Due To Nearby Construction

Tjörnin Pond In Danger Due To Nearby Construction

Published May 7, 2020

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Natsha Nandabhiwat

The pond of Tjörnin in downtown Reykjavík, an iconic city landmark, is in danger due to a severely decreased flow of water into it, brought about by construction projects south of the location, RÚV reports. Biologist Finnur Ingimarsson told reporters that if nothing is done to reverse the situation, life within the pond will be put in even greater danger.

Tjörnin is fed through a water stream flowing from the wetlands to the south, Vatnsmýri, where the local airport amongst other things is located. Currently, construction is underway at Vatnsmýri—at Hlíðarendi, specifically, where new apartments are being built—and there are also plans to develop just south of the airport.

A new report from the Environmental and Planning Committee for the City of Reykjavík on bird life at Tjörnin casts a dim picture of the current situation at Tjörnin on account of this construction.

“This construction could have a significant impact on the water availability and it needs to be monitored closely,” the report states in part. “Otherwise, there is a danger that water will stop flowing into Tjörnin, which would be a fatal for birds and life.”

Finnur echoed the sentiments of the report, saying that waterflow into Tjörnin is “extremely small”, and the cause can be placed on construction happening south of the area.

“If the flow of water reduces much more from where it is now, there is the danger of the water becoming stagnant,” he told reporters. “Then we will start having hypoxic conditions in the water, which will be devastating for life [in the pond], which requires oxygen to live.”

That said, insect and plant life has at least been recovering from where it was a decade ago, when Tjörnin was polluted and had high concentrations of faecal bacteria. Still, more clearly needs to be done to encourage the flourishing of life at one of Reykjavík’s most cherished landmarks.

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