Newsletter and Technical Publications|
<Lakes and Reservoirs - Similarities, Differences and Importance>
We are pleased to present you with this Short Series related to the
management of lakes and reservoirs. These water bodies are one of the most
important sources of fresh water for agriculture, industry, domestic and
drinking purposes while at the same time are the “homes” of a number of
different and important species of plants and animals making them sources of
fisheries, areas for migratory birds to reproduce or rest, etc..
In general, we are not aware of the efforts required for keeping lakes and
reservoirs in good condition so that they can be used for the benefit of society
as well as for nature. An enormous amount of money, technical and scientific
expertise is required to keep them clean and healthy, which in many occasions is
taken for granted.
As the human population grows in the future more demand will be put on lakes
and reservoirs. Water levels will become lower as a result of higher consumption
from households and industries; an increasing number of people will enjoy them
resulting in altering their shores; non-appropriate use of the land,
particularly on the hills and mountains, may result in increasing the amount of
soil or sediments reaching their basins. Finally, pollution from agricultural
lands and domestic sources may produce eutrophication and non-desirable effects
such as the presence of toxic algae, reduction of oxygen and generation of foul
odour, amongst other negative effects.
With this Short Series UNEP-IETC, ILEC and the Japanese Environment Agency
intends to provide information about lakes and reservoirs considering various
aspects related to their nature, importance and management. It is not meant to
be a comprehensive technical publication but an accessible and amenable source
of information for the citizen by the use of clear language and a minimum of
technical jargon to encourage greater understanding.
The intrinsic value of lakes and reservoirs and the efforts to preserve them
are larger than we think and as citizens we have to join our efforts with that
of the authorities and industries to ensure their preservation and appropriate
or sustainable use either for us or for future generations. We sincerely hope
that you find the information in this publication interesting and stimulating.
United Nations Environment Programme
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
International Environmental Technology Centre
International Lake Environment Committee Foundation