Effect of Reduced Anthropogenic Activities on Water Quality in Lake Vembanad, India

Kulk, Gemma and George, Grinson and Abdulaziz, Anas and Menon, Nandini and Theenathayalan, Varunan and Jayaram, Chiranjivi and Brewin, Robert J W and Sathyendranath, Shubha (2021) Effect of Reduced Anthropogenic Activities on Water Quality in Lake Vembanad, India. Remote Sensing, 13 (9). pp. 1-18.

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Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/13/9/1631
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    Abstract

    The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal Life Below Water (SDG-14) aims to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development”. Within SDG-14, targets 14.1 and 14.2 deal with marine pollution and the adverse impacts of human activities on aquatic systems. Here, we present a remote-sensing-based analysis of short-term changes in the Vembanad-Kol wetland system in the southwest of India. The region has experienced high levels of anthropogenic pressures, including from agriculture, industry, and tourism, leading to adverse ecological and socioeconomic impacts with consequences not only for achieving the targets set out in SDG-14, but also those related to water quality (SDG-6) and health (SDG-3). To move towards the sustainable management of coastal and aquatic ecosystems such as Lake Vembanad, it is important to understand how both natural and anthropogenic processes affect water quality. In 2020, a unique opportunity arose to study water quality in Lake Vembanad during a period when anthropogenic pressures were reduced due to a nationwide lockdown in response to the global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 (25 March–31 May 2020). Using Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 multi-spectral remote sensing and in situ observations to analyse changes in five different water quality indicators, we show that water quality improved in large areas of Lake Vembanad during the lockdown in 2020, especially in the more central and southern regions, as evidenced by a decrease in total suspended matter, turbidity, and the absorption by coloured dissolved organic matter, all leading to clearer waters as indicated by the Forel-Ule classification of water colour. Further analysis of longer term trends (2013–2020) showed that water quality has been improving over time in the more northern regions of Lake Vembanad independent of the lockdown. The improvement in water quality during the lockdown in April–May 2020 illustrates the importance of addressing anthropogenic activities for the sustainable management of coastal ecosystems and water resources.

    Item Type: Article
    Subjects: Marine Environment > Water quality management
    Divisions: CMFRI-Kochi > Marine Capture > Fishery Resource Assessment
    Subject Area > CMFRI > CMFRI-Kochi > Marine Capture > Fishery Resource Assessment
    CMFRI-Kochi > Marine Capture > Fishery Resource Assessment
    Subject Area > CMFRI-Kochi > Marine Capture > Fishery Resource Assessment
    Depositing User: Arun Surendran
    Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2021 08:20
    Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 08:20
    URI: http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/id/eprint/15118

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