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Importance of Lakes

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  • Last Updated : 28 Mar, 2022
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The term describes the river system of an area or flow of water through different channels. Many of the small streams rivers come together to form the main river from different directions which drain into a large water body such as lake or sea or ocean.

The area drained by a single river and its tributaries is termed a drainage basin. The Amazon River is the world’s largest drainage basin. In India, The Ganga River is the largest drainage basin.

Any mountain or an upland that separates or divides the two drainage basins is termed as water divide.

Lakes in India

India has a variety of lakes some are permanent and some are seasonal as some lakes contain water only at the time of rainy season like the lakes in the basins of inland drainage or semi-arid region, they differ from each other in size and some other characteristics also.

The major points about the Lakes found in India are as follows –

  • In India, some of the lakes are the result of the melting of glaciers and ice sheets whereas the others have been formed by wind, river action and human activities. A meandering river which is across a floodplain forms cut-offs that later develops into ox-bow lakes.
  • Spit (which is a deposition of bar or beach landform off coasts or lake shores ), Bar (an elevated region of sediment in a river that has been deposited by the flow ) form lagoons in coastal areas. For Example the Chilika, Pulicat and Kolleru lakes. 
  • Lakes in the inland regions are seasonal. For examples the salt water lake in Rajasthan which is also known as Sambhar lake and used for the production of salt.
  • Fresh waters lakes are mostly in Himalayas region and which are from the glacial region. they are formed when glaciers create a basin which on later filled with snowmelt. For Example the wular lake one of the India’s largest fresh water lake in Jammu and Kashmir which is the result of tectonic activity.
  • Some other Fresh water lakes are: The Dal Lake, Bhimtal, Nainital, Loktak and Barapani.
  • By damming of the rivers for the generation of hydel power has also led to the formation of various lakes like Guru Gobind Sagar which is formed by the damming of the Satluj river.

As per the given data, 71% of the world’s surface is covered with water but out of this, 97% of that is saltwater and 3% is available as freshwater, three-quarters of it covered as ice.

Importance of Lakes

  1. Lakes are very useful to human beings as they are used as tourist destination and also used for the sports activities like boating , water sports etc. Its directly related to income of individual.
  2. Lakes is also helpful for the prevention of floods during the heavy rainfall and in dry season it helps to maintain an even flow of water. Lakes help in maintain the flow of a river.
  3. Lakes can be used for the production or development of hydel power. They moderate the climate surroundings by maintaining the aquatic ecosystem, by enhancing the natural beauty and also helps in developing tourism and provide recreation.
  4. Salt water lake also used for the production of salt.

Water Pollution in Lakes

The main cause of Water Pollution are –

  • High number of untreated sewage and Industrial effluents are being emptied into the lakes. Because of this excess decomposition has caused the water body to become highly polluted.
  • Due to cremation near water bodies, dead animals and leaching out of nitrogen compounds from fertilised agricultural lands also increase the pollution.
  • Run off nutrient in storm water from sheet flow over an agricultural field or a forest is also another cause of pollution in lakes.

Sample Questions

Question 1: What is the water divide? Give an example?


Any mountain that separates or divides the two drainage basin, an upland is termed as water divide.

Example of water divide –

  • Western ghats act as water divide between the west flowing rivers meeting the Arabian sea and east flowing rivers meeting the Bay of Bengal.
  • The water divide between the Indus and the Ganga river systems is one of the major Water divide at Ambala. The Indus, the Sutlej and the Brahmaputra rivers rise very close to each other but because of the water divides they flow in different directions.

Question 2: Define Inland Drainage Basin and Lagoon?


Inland Drainage Basin: Its a point of land that absorbs water from rain or snow melt and drains downhill into a river, lake, reservoir, sea or ocean.

Lagoon: The stretch of salt water separated from the sea by a low sandbank or coral reef is termed as Lagoon.

Question 3: What is the importance of the Sambhar lake?


Importance of the Sambhar Lake –

  1. It is India’s largest salt lake and which has made Rajasthan the thirds largest salt producing in India.
  2. Every year It has produced about 2 lakh tonnes of clean. The salt has been produced by evaporation of brine.
  3. This salt lake is also recognised as wetland of international importance because it is a key wintering area for flamingos and other birds that migrate from the Northern Asia.

Question 4: What is the importance of Chilika Lake?


Importance of the Chilika Lake – 

  1. In Odisha, chilika lake is the largest brackish water lake in India.
  2. Chilika Lake is the wintering ground for migratory birds of the Indian subcontinent.
  3. The Chilika Lake is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals. Its an ecosystem with large fishery resources sustaining 150000 fishermen living nearby.

Question 5: What is the role of Lake in the Indian Economy?


The role of Lake in Indian Economy is that lake provides water for irrigation, facility for navigation and to generate hydroelectric power etc. Another role is to used for the production of crop and major part of livelihood of the majority of population.

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