Bhoj wetland - experience and lessons learned - Brief

This brief on the International Lake Environment Committee site discusses the situation of lakes in the South East Asian region in the context of the growing water crisis and the gradual degradation of environmental and water resources due to population growth, urbanisation, industrialisation and chemical intensive agriculture.

The first victims of this degradation processes have been the lakes and reservoirs in the vicinity of urban areas that have undergone large scale pollution due to sewage and inductrial effluents and toxic chemicals. In most cases, nutrient enrichment led to eutrophication of water bodies leading to negative manifestations such as:

  • Loss of water spread area because of siltation and construction activities
  • Continuous algal blooms
  • Excessive growth of macrophytes and loss of biodiversity
  • Water quality degradation

There have been drastic alterations in the morphometry and water holding capacity of lakes and reservoirs, due to inflow of silt, dumping of garbage and reclamation activities. There have been further encroachments and unauthorised construction activities in the catchment and on the lakebed. The impact of this degradation has been more severe in urban areas due to high population densities. Because of the economic, and the recreational potential of lakes, there is an urgent need to protect, rehabilitate and conserve them as precious natural resources.

The brief examines how these issues have been addressed for the Upper and Lower lakes of Bhopal, collectively known as Bhoj wetland. The brief is divided into the following sections:

  • The Bhopal lakes
  • Status of the lakes
  • Environmental issues affceting lakes
  • Conservation and management of lakes
  • Project implementation
  • Project progress
  • Project innovations
  • Importance of scientific studies in decisionmaking
  • Future plan for sustainability
  • Lessons learnt

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