Due to their high absorption and retention capacity, peatlands prevent flooding during the rainy season and release water in the dry season. Peatlands also play a key role in preventing sea water intrusion into the mainland.
Its highly absorptive capacity allows the peat to hold water at 450-850% of its dry weight. Peatlands can become a freshwater reserve to serve as a flood deterrent in the monsoons and a drought-mitigating reserve during the dry season.
When peat is damaged due to drying activities, peat behaves in the opposite way and becomes water repellent (hydrophobic), which causes catastrophic flooding. Excessive and irreversible drainage explains why peat becomes dry and unable to absorb water.