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Central Water Commission

(Serving the nation since 1945)

Glacial Lakes/Water Bodies in Himalayan Region

Central Water Commission,
Planning & Development Organization

Glacial Lakes/Water Bodies in Himalayan Region

Glacial lakes are common in the high elevation of glacierised basin. They are formed when glacial ice or moraines or natural depressions impound water. There are varieties of such lakes, ranging from melt water ponds on the surface of glacier to large lakes in side valleys dammed by a glacier in the main valley. These lakes normally drain their water through seepage in front of the retreating glacier. The moraine creates topographic depression in which the melt water is generally accumulated leading to formation of glacial lake. When this lake is watertight, melt waters will accumulate in the basin until seepage or overflow limits the lake level.

Such moraine-dammed lakes appear to be the most common type of glacial lakes. The impoundment of the melt may sometimes be unstable, leading to sudden release of large quantities of stored water. Failure of these ice or moraine dams leading to disastrous destruction events has been documented throughout the world. Flash floods caused by the outburst of glacial lakes, called as Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF), are well known in Himalaya where such lakes had often been formed by landslides. GLOFs have immense potential of flooding in downstream areas, causing disastrous consequences due to release of large volumes of water in very short interval of time. Most often, the consequences arising out of such situations are highly unpredictable primarily due to lack of availability of sufficient data regarding rainfall intensity, location of landslide, impounded volume and area and physical conditions of lakes/ water bodies. Therefore, Glacial Lakes and Water Bodies in Himalayan Region need to be closely monitored.

Inventory of Glacial Lakes/Water bodies in Himalayan region

Monitoring of Glacial Lakes/Water bodies in Himalayan region

Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) study of South Lhonak Lake in Sikkim

What's New in CWC

The total water available in live storage of 91 reservoirs in the country being monitored by CWC was 66.26 BCM as on 14.02.2019.This is 41% of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs and 96% of storage of average of last ten years.The overall storage position is more than the corresponding period of last year in the country as a whole but is less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

new item
15-02-2019

Central Water Commission in collaboration with Odisha Water Resources Department and the World Bank successfully organised International Dam Safety Conference - 2019 during 13-14 February 2019 at Bhubaneswar, Odisha. It was conculded by holding a press conference on 15 Feb 2019 in the presence of Secretary, MoWR, RD & GR and Chairman, Central Water Commission among other senior officers / dignitaries from the fraternity.

new item
15-02-2019

39th Meeting of the National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS) under Chairmanship of Chairman, CWC being held at Bhubaneswar on 11 February 2019.

12-02-2019

Chairman, Central Water Commission handed over Emergency Action Plan document of Hirakud Dam to Principal Secretary, Odisha Water Resources Department on January 10 , 2019 at Rajiv Bhawan, Bhubaneswar. The EAP has been prepared under DRIP to act as model document for other Dam owners.

10-01-2019

Govt of Gujarat has signed MoU on 7th January 2019 with Central Water Commission and CWPRS at Gandhinagar for Implementation of Coastal Management Information System (CMIS) in the State.

10-01-2019