The lakes of Ahmedabad, the crucial cogs in stormwater management and keeping the environment that bit cooler, are not in good shape, a study of 10 lakes in the city has found.
While four lakes have reportedly lost 10% or more of their area in the past decade, the other six are plagued by degradation and pollution.
The study, ‘Status of Selected Wetlands in Ahmedabad’, recently published in the International Association of Biologicals and Computational Digest was conducted by the department of botany, bioinformatics and climate change impacts management of Gujarat University.
The researchers used a geographic information system (GIS) for satellite images of the city over the decade to understand the physical changes in the lakes at Vastrapur, Chandola, Sola, Makarba, Ramol, Vejalpur, Danilimda, Ramol, Vatva and Chandkheda.
The study found 10% of the lakes in ‘degraded’, 40% in ‘reconstructed’ and 50% in ‘shrunk or fragmented’ condition.
Except for two lakes, all had recorded at least 5% shrinkage. The highest shrinkage was recorded in Makarba at 15%, followed by Ramol (14%).
“Some of the lakes like Chandola and Vastrapur have been reconstructed for decorative purposes and damage natural vegetation as they use ornamental plants. Chandkheda, Gafurbasti and Danilimda are polluted lakes due to chemical waste, plastic waste and (release of) sewage water,” mentioned the study.
It added that many of the lakes are covered with algal bloom and other invasive species such as water hyacinth. The biggest shrinkage was recorded between 2012 and 2022.
City environmentalists said the need of the hour was to ensure conservation through proper planning, creating awareness about need for such conservation, reviving lost water channels that naturally fed these water bodies with fresh water during monsoon, and keep a check on the construction and other encroachments to ensure that these waterbodies that have sustained the city for long remain alive.