In Latvia, within the LIFE Peat Restore project, blocking of ditches is proposed in three areas. In all these sites, prior to restoration actions careful surveys and hydrological and hydrogeological modelling was done. It means that a hydrogeologist has assessed the current situation and potential impacts of ditch blocking. As the next step, the appropriate locations for dams on ditches were selected. The dams are planned by bearing in mind that they have to fultil their task – to rewett the drained peatlands, without causing damage to the adjacent forests, agricultural lands and homesteads. The results of hydrological and hydrogeological studies and modelling was presented in several meetings to representatives of the official steerings groups and people from local communities.
To be sure on the actual impacts, the project areas will be monitored throughout the project lifetime – before and after blocking the ditches. To evaluate the situation before restoration, we have already started the monitoring. This will allow understanding the pre-restoration condition and analysing the changes induced by the restoration works.
In April 2018, we have established groundwater monitoring wells in all project sites in Latvia (Baltezers Mire, Madiešēnu Mire, Lake Engure). The groundwater table is being monitored automatically by loggers, which provide regular (once per hour) and frequent measurements with high accuracy. Four times per year the data will be summarized and analysed by our project expert. We continue working and collecting the data which will be necessary to carry out the restoration.