Only 20% water of Dal Lake is clean, claims study

BK Correspondent SRINAGAR:
April 23, 2017 CITY 289 Views

Despite various drives being by the Lakes and Water Ways Department (LWDA) held to conserve Dal lake, the famed water body has only“20 per cent of water clean” claims a study.
Dr Shakil Ahmad Romshoo, head of the Earth Sciences Department at Kashmir University has mentioned it in research on Dal Lake.
“32% of the lake falls under severe degradation, 48% under medium degradation while as 20% of the lake waters are relatively clean,” the study says titled as ‘The long-term biophysical and demographic changes in Dal Lake’.
The research says that the lake which has shrunk from 31 to 24 square km from 1859 to 2014 faces multiple pressures from the unplanned urbanization, high population growth, nutrient load from intensive agriculture and tourism.
The study has analyzed the long-term biophysical and demographic changes in Dal Lake. “7 important water quality parameters from 82 well distributed sites across the lake were analysed and compared with the past data to determine the historical changes in the water quality from 1971-2014. The changes in the LULC and demography have adversely affected the pollution status of this pristine lake,” Dr Romshoo states in the research.
The study attributed the degradation of the Dal Lake to increased load of nutrients –mostly nitrogen and phosphorus – which act as fertilisers for weed growth in it.
The study also reveals that the built-up area within the lake has increased by 217 per cent since 1962, which together with the changes in the population and settlements, have led to the high discharge of untreated nutrient-rich sewage into the lake. “Similarly the expansion of floating gardens within the lake and agriculture lands in the catchment have contributed to the increased nutrient load into the lake due to the increasing use of fertilizers. The information about the existing land cover, demography and water quality was integrated and analyzed in GIS environment to identify the trophic status of the lake.”
The study further said, “Ortho-phosphate phosphorous concentration has increased from 16.75µgL-1 in 1977 to 45.78µgL-1 in 2014 and that of the nitrate-nitrogen from 365µgL-1 to 557µgL-1, indicating nutrient enrichment of the lake over the years.”

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