India’s Most important Lakes and Inter-State River Water Disputes
The North-Western part of the Indian sub-continent is also called Great Indian Desert and Marusthali. It is bounded by the Punjab plains on the North and East by Aravalli range on the South small rivers draining into the basin are the Kantu, the Kakni, the Ghugri and the Sukri.
India has many lakes. These differ from each other in the size and other characteristics. Most lakes are permanent whereas, some contain water only during the rainy season, like the lakes in the basin of inland drainage of semi-arid regions.
There are some of the lakes which are the results of the action of glaciers and ice sheets, while the others have been formed by wind, river actions and human activities. A meandering river across a flood plain forms cut-offs that later develop into Ox-bow lakes. Spits and bars form lagoons in the coastal areas e.g. the Chilka Lake, the Pulicat Lake, and the Kolleru Lake. Lakes in the region of inland drainage are something seasonal. E.g. the Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan, which is a salt water lake, its water is used for producing salt.
Most of the fresh water lakes are in the Himalayan Region. They are of glacial origin. In other words, they formed when glaciers dug out a basin, which was later filled with snowmelt. The Wular Lake in Jammu and Kashmir, in contrast, is the result of the technic activity. It is the largest freshwater lake in India.
The Dal Lake, Bhimtal, Nainital, Loktak and Barapani are some other important fresh water lakes. Apart from natural lakes, the damming of the rivers for the generations of hydel power has also led to the formation of lakes such as Gobind Sagar (Bhakra Nangal Projects).Lonar Lake in Maharashtra is a Crater Lake. Pulicat Lake is a saline lagoon in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu border. Loktak Lake in Manipur is fresh water lake having inland drainage.
Types of Lake and their Description
|Types of Lake||Description||Examples|
|The Tectonic Lakes||Formed due to the fractures and faults in the Earth’s crust.||Nainital, Bhimtal, Wular, Dal lake etc.|
|The Crater Lakes||Crater Lakes are formed when the craters and calderas are filled with water||Lonar lake of Buldhana|
|The Glacial Lakes||These lakes are the result of glacial erosion.||Gangabal lake of Kashmir|
|Fluvial Lakes||Rivers from different types of lakes through their erosional and depositional work like ox blow lakes.||Upper, middle and lower courses of the Ganga and the Brahmaputra river, Kolleru lake in Andhra Pradesh.|
|Aeolian Lakes||These are small depression lying on the windblown sand surface||Sambhar and Panchbhadhra lakes|
|Dissolution Lakes||These lakes are formed due to a depression of the Surface by underground dissolution.||Such lakes are found around Cherrapunji, Bhimtal and Garhwal Shillong etc.|
|Lagoons||Formed by depositions of sand bars along the sea coast||Vembanad, Asthamudi, Kayals of Kerala, Chilka of Odisha|
|Landslides Lakes||Produces by landslides causing obstruction in the course of steams||The Gohna Lake of Garhwal|
Inter-State River Water Disputes
Though India has vast water resources but these are unevenly distributed. Most of the Himalayan rivers are large, are fed from glaciers and thus perennial whereas Peninsular rivers are seasonal and unable to fulfill overwhelming demands of its riparian states during dry seasons. Excessive demand and lack of proper supply of waters and their being utilized in different irrigation and hydropower projects is what causes disputes between riparian states of river.
National water Grid
It has been proposed in order to cure the woes of disputing states. Such a grid, if implemented, will connect the major Himalayan Rivers with the peninsular rivers by means of a network of canals. It envisages connecting 26 rivers by constructing 30 different link canals. The surplus water of Himalayan rivers which causes flooding in Northern Plains would be carried over to the water starved drier peninsular counterparts. But such a project faces environmental concerns and political difficulties. A more viable option available is that of rain water harvesting by means of which water that flows through unutilized in the rainy season would be harvested or stored for future use in driers seasons.
Rivers and Disputing States
|Krishna||Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka|
|Godavari||Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka ,Madhya Pradesh, Odisha|
|Cauvery||Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry|
|Narmada||Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra|
|Mandovi/Mahadayi||Goa and Karnataka|
|Vansadhara||Andhra Pradesh and Odisha|
|Ravi and Beas||Punjab and Haryana|
|Mullaperiyar||Kerala and Tamil Nadu|