What are the ecological aspects that should be taken into consideration during lake cleaning/ restoration projects?

  • Every lake/pond is a habitat by itself.
  • It supports several life forms and has its own hydro-geo-morphology.
  • These are not just water-holding structures but are lifeline stabilisers.
  • We need to understand this aspect and ensure that all non-degradable trash is eliminated from the water body.
  • Invasive weeds need to be removed to ensure that the native dependent life forms aren’t threatened.
  • Clean water bodies are important for biodiversity, temperature regulation, prevention of water-borne diseases and more.
  • Restoring a water body is not just about deepening it or beautifying its bunds; it’s about understanding the larger ecosystem and facilitating a natural revival mechanism.

What are the steps that we can take to prevent the dumping of sewage and waste into water bodies?

  • Only through community education and social outreach can we reduce the dumping of solid and liquid waste into water bodies.
  • It is unfortunate that regularised and unregularised dumping is so common.
  • Stringent enforcement of law, extended community outreach and change in public attitude towards natural habitats is how we will be able to conserve it.

What do you think can be done to create awareness among people on preservation of lakes and wetlands?

  • The general public needs to be sensitised on water; we as a nation need a large Water Literacy Programme that educates us on our rivers, lakes, ponds and more.
  • The water that we use, the water that we drain and the water that we store needs to be focused on.
  • We need to trigger a positive outreach so that our larger population is enthused and is willingly participatory in conserving freshwater bodies.

What are the common invasive species found in lakes? How can we get over this problem?

  • Water hyacinth and the thorny Prosopis Julifora are couple of common ones.
  • There are zoological and botanical invasive species that harm the native species of our natural habitats.
  • A scientific regulation approach is the key to tackling this natural menace.

What are the steps that we can take to reclaim the encroached areas of water bodies?

  • The government has enforce strong measures to reclaim natural habitats.
  • Government, private, religious and other encroachments should all be taken into consideration. Regularised relocation is key to the success of ensuring prevention of encroachments.
  • Defining boundaries of the water catchment, draining and holding points are also important.
  • As the public we also have a role in not abusing, exploiting or encroaching natural habitats.