Commercial fish production 

The production of fish for the purpose of trade or selling, for example on fish markets.

Disease and pest control

Diseases and pests are contagious illnesses and can harm people and pets. 

Help to Improve water quality through natural processes

When it rains, water can flow from the land into the pond. Some of the water can flow into soils and eventually become groundwater.This process is also called “infiltration”. As water infiltrates through the soil, microbes and chemical processes help to clean and filter dirt, pollutants, and bacteria from the water so that when it becomes groundwater, it has already been cleaned to some extent. 

Water that remains in the pond can also be cleaned by the plants, animals, and microbes that live there. These organisms can remove dirt and pollutants or cause them to sink to the bottom, improving water quality in the pond.

Extra: Why can the overflowing water be dirty?

Overflowing water is often dirty (e.g. mud or dog poo) from the streets and can contain chemicals and pollutants, e.g. oil from cars or garden fertilizers.

Places where the local climate is different

Water bodies often can have a cooling effect caused by evaporation of the water making  the air more humid. A second effect that can make the air feel more fresh is wind. Especially in cities, concrete and buildings can heat up, while the water stays a bit cooler. The temperature difference between the pond and its environment can produce air drafts or winds. Moreover, plants around ponds can add to these effect and additionally can even provide shade.


includes activities that you do in your free time and that bring you joy. For example bike riding, walking, relaxing, playing ball games, swimming, painting and so on.


Reed is a visible water plant (a member of the family of aquatic grass) and often grows on the shores of ponds and lakes. It has stiff stems and can grow to more than 1.5 meters tall. 

Refuge for animals and plants

A habitat gives refuge or space to animals and plants during their whole life or during a part of it. It can be a place where they eat, sleep, mate (reproduce), grew up their offspring, or do all of these together. 

Ponds can fulfill different Roles and Functions which are also called Ecosystem services.

Ecosystem services are benefits people obtain from ecosystems. In this regard, ecosystems contribute to human wellbeing by means of providing important regulating (e.g. flood control), provisioning (e.g. agricultural goods) and cultural services (e.g. recreation).

Urban areas like cities or towns

In this study we consider urban areas like cities or towns to be areas with a minimum population density of 300 inhabitants per square kilometer (300 inhab./km2) and a minimum population of 5’000 inhabitants.

If you are unsure about the population of your town, you can most likely google this or ask at your city hall or municipality.

Extra: Urban or rural? 

Sometimes it is hard to say whether a pond is in a rural or urban area. If it is still in the (urban) city borders, even though the area seems rural or even natural, we consider this as an urban pond. If you are not sure about the pond close to you, just add a comment at the end of the survey.

Urban ponds are small lakes which you can find in cities. Ponds are often shallow and man-made (that means they were created artificially), but some ponds can also be natural. 

A pond's surface area is smaller than 5 hectare (e.g. 500m*100m; approximately 5 soccer fields). We call ponds „urban“, when they are in urban areas like cities or towns. For example, a small lake in the countryside is not an urban pond.

Visible water plants (macrophytes)

Plants that grow in the water and usually have roots in the sediments at the bottom of a water body are called macrophytes. Sometimes their leaves grow above the surface of the water so that they can receive light for photosynthesis, but some macrophytes grow fully submerged in the water.