Study on Wular Lake

— by Aananya L, August 22 2021 —

Wular Lake is the largest freshwater lake in India and the second largest freshwater lake
in Asia. The lake covers an area of 200 square kilometers, with a length of about 24 km and a
width of around 10 km. It lies between the towns of Sopur and Bandippore, in Sangrama, near
Baramula Road. Most of the water in Wular Lake comes from River Jhelum. The lake is midst
magnificent mountains and dense forests containing many trees, including coniferous pine, apple
and walnut. The lake also attracts a lot of tourists every year who can be seen doing activities
such as water skiing and rafting.

Physical/Chemical Properties

● Total Iron: 0.31 mg/l
● Nitrate: 23 mg/l
● Fluorides: ND
● Chlorides: 16.2 mg/l
Total Alkalinity: 147.7 mg/l
● Calcium: 31.91 mg/l
● Aluminum: ND
● Magnesium: 6.18 mg/l
● Resd Chlorine: RAW WATER
● Sulphate: ND
● Ph: 7.45
● Turbidity: 15.8 N.T.U
● Total Hardness: 109 mg/l
● Total coliform: POSITIVE
● Conductivity: 236.17 μs/cm
● Total Acidity: 1.13 mg/l
● Phosphate: 0.01 mg/l
● Ammonia: 0.10 mg/l
● Carbon Dioxide: 1.26 mg/l
● COD: 293.33 mg/l
● BOD: 194.51 mg/l

Environmental Issues

Wular Lake is known for having a variety of fish species: Cyprinus carpio, Barbus conchonius,
Gambusia affinis, Nemacheilus sp., Crossocheilus latius, Schizothorax curvifrons, S. esocinus, S.
planifrons, S. micropogon, S. longipinus and S. niger. The lake is an important habitat for these
fish and contributes about 60 percent of the fish yield of the Kashmir Valley. More than 8,000
fishermen earn their livelihood from Wular Lake. But, because of fertilizers and animals as well
as human wastes, the lake has become polluted, making not only the fishes’ lives harder but also
the fishermans’. The planting of willow trees around the lake has also contributed to the
deterioration of the lake as the siltation from them causes the lake to shrink. The lake has shrunk
by 45% over the last century–from about 158 sq km in 1911 to 87 sq km in 2007. The lake was
was drained for agriculture and willow plantations. Furthermore, all the pollutants in River
Jhelum also contribute to the pollution in Wular Lake as it is the main souce of water for the

Possible Solutions

● Conservation programme
○ It would be beneficial for the government to invest in a water conservation
programme for the lake that would stop farmers from using Wular Lake as a water
source for agricultural purposes
● Boost eco-tourism
○ There is a lot of tourism around the lake as it is a beautiful destination, but all of
this tourism can result in pollution in the lake which is why if the government
were to boost eco-tourism and encourage more awareness among tourists about
the lake’s health, this pollution could be avoided
● Decreasing plantation of willow trees and siltation
○ The plantation of willow trees alng with siltation has been a main cause for the
shrinkage of Wular Lake and decreasing this may help with restoring the depth of
the lake
● Artificially increasing depth of lake
○ While the best solution for increasing the depth of the lake would be to get rid of
the willow plantations all together, this may not be completely feasible. Which is
why, as an alternative, it may be beneficial to increase the depth of the lake
● Clean River Jhelum and pose restrictions on pollution
○ Since River Jhelum is the main source of water for Wular Lake, any pollutants
that are deposited into it, naturally flow into Wular Lake as well. Which is why
cleaning up River Jhelum and posing stricter restrictions on what can and cannot
be deposited into the river is essential for restoring Wular Lake
● Demarcate the area around Wular Lake
○ Placing boundaries around the area surrounding Wular Lake may be neccesary in
order to protect it from the siltation from the willow plantations

RESEARCH THOUGHTS, vol. 5, no. 4, 4 Dec. 2017, pp. 3002–3009.,

Works Cited

Parvaiz, Athar. “The Reason Why KASHMIR’S STUNNING Wular Lake Is Shrinking: Willow
Trees.”,, 30 Sept. 2017,

Weis, Almut. “Wular Lake – India (KASHMIR).” GNF – Wular Lake,
“Wular Lake Falls to Encroachments, Pollution, Siltation.” Greater Kashmir, 9 July 2015,
“Wular Lake.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,
“Wular Lake.”,
“Wular Lake.” Wular Lake | Official Website of District Baramulla | India,
“Wular Lake.” Wular Lake | Official Website of District Baramulla | India,

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