Importance of Lakes

The lake and reservoir water uses are becoming more intensive and multipurpose, particularly for lakes in heavily populated areas and intensively utilized regions. We can distinguish nine functions of lakes and reservoirs:

1. drinking water supply,

2. irrigation,

3. flood control,

4. aquatic production and fishery,

5. fire and ice ponds,

6. transportation,

7. hydropower,

8. conservation of biodiversity, and

9. recreation.

The multipurpose and extensive use of lakes and reservoirs can often lead to abuse and conflicts. There are numerous examples of such conflicts which are often rooted in inappropriate and insufficient water management.

Figure 1 Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world. The volume of Lake Baikal corresponds to almost 20% of all global surface freshwater.
Figure 2 Crater Lake, Oregon State, the lake famous throughout the world for its clarity. The Secchi disk transparency is 42 m.
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