India’s Silicon Valley ropes in space agency to help it find new lakes

Jakkur lake in Bangalore, India.
Image: Aijaz Rahi/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently set a world record by launching 104 satellites at one go, but their next venture will be discovering new lakes in India’s Silicon Valley, according to reports.

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Bangalore is said to have had over 1,000 lakes once upon a time. But environmental pollution and urban development has reduced that number by half. Only 478 lakes remain currently, according to state records.

But there could be more. And the state wants to ascertain that, with the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) bringing ISRO on board for the project.

When a water body gets dry, water has to find its own course and form new bodies elsewhere, KLCDA chief executive told The Economic Times. “We are cross-checking with ISRO through GIS [Geographic Information System] mapping to see if new lakes have been formed,” he said.

Bangalore lakes are inundated with sewage and toxic waste. Bellandur Lake, the city’s largest body of water, was engulfed by fire and dense smoke earlier this month.

The same lake was filled with toxic foam in 2015. It even led to a petition on Change.org, with one citizen pleading to the state chief minister to order a clean-up of the lake. The petition gathered over 49,000 signatures. But not much action was taken.

And just about a year ago, dead fishes surfaced in Ulsoor Lake, another popular water body in the city.

At least 82 lakes have disappeared in the past decade, according to Environmental Management and Policy Research Institute (EMPRI) data. The lakes have been replaced by roads, parks, temples, residential layouts, graveyards or farmland.

But the state isn’t ruling out new formations. ISRO will be seen in action soon.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/02/28/isro-new-lakes-bangalore-city/