Environmental Issues of Vembanad Wetlands and their Relation to

Inter-Graduate School Program for
Sustainable Development and Survivable Societies
Interdisciplinary Seminar (1 session course)
Environmental Issues of Vembanad Wetlands
and their Relation to Hydrology of Water
By: Dr. Gopakumar R. Pillai
(Former Scientist, Center for Water Resources Development and
Management, India)
Date: 23 March 2015 10:00-11:30
Venue: Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Research
Building No.5, 2nd floor, Medium Lecture Room,
Yoshida Campus
The Vembanad wetland in India, which is declared as a Wetland of International
Importance (Ramsar site), has been facing many environmental issues during the
recent decades. Two major artificial interventions that altered the water system of
this tidal wetland are land reclamation for rice cultivation and construction of a
salinity barrier across the lake connecting the wetland to the Arabian Sea. In this
talk, the environmental issues of Vembanad wetland are presented together with
topography of the region and hydrologic characteristics of water system in terms of
river flow patterns and its variability, seasonal water level variations, residence
time and overall water balance. Changes in the hydrology of wetland that resulted
through artificial interventions are identified as the major cause of the
environmental issues.
*Requirement: Submission of short report after the lecture