Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Water level, weeds and de-weeding

Puttenahalli Lake, like other lakes in Bangalore, is a rain-fed lake. During the monsoons, the water level rises while in the hot summers, the level drops - due to seepage into the ground as well as evaporation. This year we find that the water level is more than last year. Having abused this resource over several years and reducing it to the garbage dump that it was, it is going to take some time before the lake is brimming with water again. The ground water needs to come up from below, and the trees need to grow, to reduce evaporation rate.

We do have plans to divert more rain water into the lake during the monsoons (finance for this awaited), which will further help the cause of raising the water level.

Weeds thrive when the water level drops, because they have just enough water to keep them healthy, unlike when there is a lot of water to suffocate them. Now, when the water level is at is lowest, is the best time to get rid of at least some of the overgrowth.

A group of 50 volunteers have signed up to help us remove the weeds growing in the shallow edges of Puttenahalli Lake on Sat. 14th April 2012, for a couple of hours in the morning. Others are welcome to join them, but do let us know at <puttenahalli.lake@gmail.com>.

Despite the drop in water, the lake is home to loads of birds. Several birds have built nests among the weeds in the lake bed, so during the de-weeding we will be ensuring that the nests, and the weeds they depend on remain untouched.


Arathi Manay said...

Lake deweeding is scheduled for tomorrow, Sat. 14th April. Please assemble at the Gazebo at 7 a.m. We will wrap up by 9.30 a.m.
In addition to the 50 member group, a few individuals have also expressed their interest in joining. If anyone else is interested, please email asap/call Usha on 72597 22996/41206057/ South City extn: 6057. We need to know how many people to expect.
To ensure that the birds are not disturbed, please wear dark (preferably khaki/green) clothes. Bring drinking water and a cap. We'll give the gardening tools.
Would like to reassure everyone that you will be working only on dry/damp ground. You will not be allowed to enter the water.

Jayadeep(JDP) said...

I have been following the lake restoration project and great job by PNLIT. Here's another idea that could be tried when the water level is down and weeds start to sprout - you could use the dry patch as a community vegetable garden and the weeds can be used as mulch. This is typically done in wet lands when water level goes down. Also keeping the weeds as such may be a good thing for the lake in the long run as it would help retain water.

Jyothi said...

Thanks for the suggestions JDP, however we do have some issues-
1. Community garden at the dry patches of the lake is not conducive as there are reptiles in and around the water of the lake and the growing medium is not too fertile to have a vegetable patch.
2. Weeds are already being mulched and we are trying to compost them too.
3. Only the weeds in the dry areas are being cleared, the weeds in the
water remain where they are and i do agree with the fact that a
certain level of weed in the water is helpful.