Since the beginning of time, civilizations have been established around bodies of water, meeting the daily needs of society and industry. This association has developed and changed with the emergence of roadways and railways, but our dependence on water remains constant.
Hyderabad, too, was built along the banks of the Musi River. In fact, over a century ago, Hyderabad was known as the ‘City of Lakes’, with the city reportedly home to between 3000 and 7000 natural and manmade water bodies such as lakes, ponds, tanks and other reservoirs. Over the years, however, most of these water bodies have disappeared. Studies have suggested that since the 1990s, Hyderabad has lost over 3000 lakes. The disappearance of these reservoirs, which are crucial to the sustenance of the region, can be attributed to encroachment, rapid urban growth and toxic pollution in the form of industrial effluents and residential wastes.
Why does Forum's work matter?
As lakes and ponds are increasingly threatened by pollution, encroachment, neglect and inaction, residents are often faced with the subsequent dangers of contaminated drinking water, depleted ground water levels and water scarcity. These impacts increase the likelihood of public health epidemics due to exposure to contaminated water, crop failure due to polluted or insufficient irrigation water and loss of aquatic biodiversity. These risks are serious and if left unaddressed, threaten the economy, livelihoods and lives of people.