Environment & Ecology
Lakes of Delhi | Intekhab Alam
LA 58
An insight into a survey conducted through NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute) in 2018, which comprised the study of twenty-nine out of the few surviving water bodies in the city of Delhi. The study helped in identifying a pond's regional, environmental and cultural significance, surrounding biodiversity and threats to its future survival. The results from the study were then used to formulate viable recommendations for its conservation so as to make the water body the asset it was meant to be as opposed to the liability it is condemned into being.
Across Delhi's history, one can see how its citizens have long reaped immense economic, military and environmental benefits through the successful management of the region's topographical and hydrological resources. The technological limitations of the past made certain that our ancestors developed a gradual understanding and learning of nature through incremental improvements and interventions. While the succeeding generations may have inherited the city's natural resources, they have, sadly, not inherited the knowledge of how valuable these resources are and why they need to be cared for. In the rush of fast paced development today, the natural resources of the city have been condemned to an unfortunate state of neglect and disregard.

One such valuable natural resource are the ponds, also called johads, which are traditional, community- owned catchments that store rainwater harvested throughout the year. The water from a johad is generally used for washing, bathing and drinking purposes by humans and their cattle. It also recharges the groundwater. They were an intrinsic part of a historic integrated system of water management. However, due to many complex factors, very few have survived but most of them have lost their ecological significance.


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