Engulfed by Water Crisis

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) –┬ápartnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 12 February 2010

The Keoladeo National park was included in the World Heritage List in 1985 yet today ongoing government intervention is required to mitigate the water problem the Park is facing, and restore the World Heritage status.

Keoladeo wetland

The park, which was previously the private duck shooting preserve of the Maharaja of Bharatpur, covers an area of 29 sq.kms and has a dynamic and fragile ecosystem. The source of water, its quantity and quality are major factors affecting the wetland of the Park.

The Keoladeo National park was the last known wintering ground in India of the western population of Siberian crane Grus leucogeranus of which the last pair was observed in the year 2001- 02. One of the most important reasons for the decrease in the number of migratory birds visiting the Park is the shortage of water.

Primarily water scarcity was brought about by the increase in storage of the Panchana dam that allows very little flow of water downstream; and the major effects can be seen in various forms. Over the years, the habitat quality has degraded significantly. Invasion of weed species has outpaced the reclamation efforts resulting in invasion of Prosopis in all the ecosystems of the Park.

Another major management problem being faced in the Park is the invasive species growth. Prosopis juliflora, an obnoxious weed has invaded the entire park and this has adversely affected the habitat of woodland, grassland and lakes.

Read the full report: PIB

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