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Session18: School Students


Chairman: Dr. jack Vallentyne & Dr. T. V. RamaChandra 

Encroachment of Lakes Threat to Natural Ecosystem

Suhasa H. S.


Lakes are critical “storage tanks” of freshwater. The chief sources of water for the lakes are rainfall, and ground water table. Lakes and their surrounding watersheds are unique and valuable for the functioning of ecosystem.  In most cases, the presence of lakes helps as a source of drinking water, agricultural usage, etc. More than 90% of all available freshwater on land are contained in lakes and reservoirs.  It has been a practice to construct barriers (tanks) to store the rainwater and then utilize it later judiciously.  

This paper addresses the concerns of encroachment of lakes, its effect on the ecosystem and the necessary steps required to check this. A case study on such encroachment at Gubbi, Tumkur district is presented. In Gubbi town a tank called Maranakatte was gradually encroached by public as well as the local government authorities owing to increased pressures on availability of land to cater the growing population. The paper discusses the events that lead to the disappearance of the tank and the long-term implications of the activity, which is already hitting hard on the public and the general ecosystem. Today the ground water table at Gubbi is about 25 meters from 8 meters 35 years ago and the entire population of Gubbi faces a severe drinking and domestic water shortage. The shortage in water supply and receding ground water table is attributed to the loss of a storage tank inside the town, which was earlier catering to the water supply of the town as well aided in the recharge of ground water table.

Thus the consequences of encroachment of lakes disturbing the natural ecosystem are presented.  In many places due to the increase in population lakes are converted as usable lands.  This severely affects the natural ecosystem. Appropriate measures required to check such activities are outlined. Awareness and knowledge on the implications of these activities are felt very essential in this regard. Efforts made to promote and propagate water-harvesting techniques for better and sustainable water management practices are suggested.

Address: IX Standard, Vidyaniketan High School, 
Tumkur. Karnataka India
Phone: 0816 - 422225 E-mail: