Mumbai Lake Survey

In 2016, GreenLine along with 120 students from St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Mumbai conducted a study to identify and map the lakes of the Mumbai city. This project was based on the previous study conducted by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – India, Maharashtra State Office in 2009.

It is well known that Mumbai has three lakes i.e. Tulsi, Powai and Vihar which used to provide water to residents of Mumbai. Very few actually know that the city is blessed with many more in its BMC jurisdiction. These lakes are either polluted by human sewage or industrial effluents and have remained neglected with increasing urbanization. This study was aimed at identifying all those other smaller lakes and to collect basic information about these lakes and to compare the findings with WWF-India report of 2009 to observe what has changed over the years.

Students conducted the study of 61 lakes in the Mumbai and Mumbai Suburban areas. The attributes such as GPS locations were recorded using Google maps or the mobile application such as ‘MyTracks’. Students observed the vegetation in and around the lake and also the fishing activity in lake. They also checked if any garbage is being disposed in the lake or has it been encroached upon. They also interviewed citizens to understand what are the different activities that are conducted in this lake or where and how the water is being used. At some places, the lakes were under private property and the students were not allowed to conduct the survey by authorities.

Few findings showed new artificial lake was created and a good vegetation was observed around the lake. Few students observed a lake that was under a property of builder and soon would have been encroached upon. Out of 61, water from only 3 lakes were being used for drinking purposes. Many were used for bathing and for washing clothes by few people. Most common observation in all the lakes was disposal of garbage, plastics, etc. Almost all the lakes were polluted and neglected by citizens as well as authorities. The data was submitted to GreenLine.