Harmful substances increase significantly in Dal Lake, claims study

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The concentration of harmful substances like nitrate, phosphates, and chlorides has increased significantly in Dal lake in the last 25 years.

This has been stated in a recent study titled “The changing water quality of lakes—a case study of Dal Lake, Kashmir Valley,” which was published by the environmental monitoring and assessment journal in 2022.

The study has found that the concentration of harmful substances like phosphates, chlorides, and nitrates has increased tremendously over the last 25 years in Dal Lake.

“Concentration of total phosphorus has increased from 0.1 to 0.4 mg/l in 1997 to about 6 mg/l in 2017. Similarly, chlorides have shown a steep increase from 2–2.7 mg/l 329 in 2007 to 10.3 mg/l in 2017. Other elements like calcium and magnesium, have also witnessed an increasing trend in the lake,” it says.

The study has found that dissolved oxygen (DO) levels, on the other hand, have shown significant decline. “Annual DO values of the lake have decreased from 7.4 mg/l in 1997 to 6.9 mg/l in 2017,” it says.

DO is the amount of oxygen present in water. It is essential for the survival of fish and other aquatic organisms.

It has witnessed extreme loss in water quality during the last four decades because of human activities.

Javeed Ahmad, an environment researcher said there are various factors that have affected the lake water quality.

“There is an urgent need to address the problems associated with lake restoration, management, and conservation by both authorities and the local population,” he told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).

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