80% of Dal,Nigeen has quality water: NEERI

‘Satellite Images Depict No Change In Built Up Area Since 2008’

ARIF SHAFI WANI

Srinagar, May 17: The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) which conducted scientific studies in Dal and Nigeen lakes to evaluate efficacy of Sewage Treatment Plant (STPs) has in its recent report stated that 81 percent of these water bodies possess good water quality.
 With the help of satellite images, the NEERI has also stated that there has been no change in the built up area in these water bodies since 2008. 
 Officials said the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, monitoring the Dal conservation, had last year directed the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) to consult the Nagpur-based NEERI considered an expert agency in management of STPs to evaluate their functioning.
 In its report ‘Adequacy and efficacy assessment of STPs discharging treated effluent into Dal-Nigeen lakes’, the NEERI has enumerated results of satellite data and on spot scientific studies conducted in these water bodies. The report states that nine water quality parameters comprising dissolved oxygen, (DO), fecal coliform, pH, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), temperature change, total phosphate, nitrate, turbidity and total solids were used in estimating Water Quality Index of the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF-WQI) in Dal and Nigeen.
 The water samples were collected in various areas of Dal and Nigeen in November last year, and after undertaking comprehensive scientific tests over the months, its results were recently released.
 It states that the estimated NSF-WQI values indicate that out of the 42 monitored locations, 31 fall under good water quality criteria while eight and three locations fall under medium and bad water quality criteria respectively.
 “The geographical interpretation of a geospatial modeling conducted using Natural neighbor Technique modeling depicts that the water quality of 81 percent of the lake area is good as per NSF-WQI criteria, while 17 percent of the area is falling under medium and only two percent area under the bad WQI criteria,” it states.
 However, the NEERI scientists in the report maintain that the values do not give an overall assessment of the lake water considering seasonal variation.
 The Alternate Hydro Energy Centre, Roorke which has prepared the Dal Conservation Project had recommended construction of five STPs around the lake’s periphery. While three STPs are functioning in Lam, Nishat and Habak, two STPs based on the latest Sequential Batch Reactor (SBR) technology are scheduled to be commissioned soon. The reports states that the built up area has also remained in these lakes as per the satellite images of 2008 to 2012. Presently, the total area of Dal-Nigeen lakes is 25 sq.kms.
 “However, the area under floating plants has decreased from 24.4 percent in 2008 to 17.2 percent in 2012, an in conjunction, the open are water body has increased from 34.8 to 42.3 percent in the study during the same period.”
 The scientists observed reduction in the area covered by floating plaints in the Dal-Nigeen lake along the boundary is attributed to the continuous restoration and preservation management activities being carried out by LAWDA through deweeding and dredging operations including mitigation and control of sewage, sullage discharges in the lake,” it states.
 “Monitoring of aquatic bio-diversity in terms of species composition of phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthos, their density and distribution, diversity indices and identification of species indicate that the Dal-Nigeen lake is moderately enriched and productive water body,” it states.
 The report identifies increase in population, anthropogenic pressure due to human settlements in the surroundings and within the lake as major factors that pose environmental threats to the Dal-Nigeen lakes. Besides, it states the run-off from agricultural fields and erosion of hillsides in the catchments area are major non-point sources of pollution causing siltation and nutrients loading in the lake.
 The NEERI recommends sustained coordinate approach to harmonize interest of people and environment with specific time bound objectives. “Provision of proper sewage disposal facilities has to be built in the areas where there is no such system. This will reduce organic and nutrient loading in the lake to a great extent. However, mere construction of such systems without properly operating and maintaining it will not serve the purpose.”
 It recommends long term or continuous monitoring of lake water quality is strongly recommended to have a holistic picture of the water quality of the lake considering seasonal, spatial and temporal variation. It further recommends monitoring and prevention of algal bloom, aeration of stagnant pockets, sustained deweeding and desilting of these water bodies for long-term conservation.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 May 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 May 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 18 May 2013 00:00:00 IST




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