Staff Reporter

Public to be included in attempt to monitor the lake’s water quality

ALAPPUZHA: The Bangalore-based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) is initiating a water quality monitoring programme for the Vembanad lake with public participation here from Thursday.

The programme, mainly aimed at setting up a monitoring system that will provide comprehensive information about the status of water quality in the lake, will also include panchayats, schools, scientific institutions, people who earn a livelihood from the lake and non-governmental organisations among others.

The programme, ATREE programme officer T.D. Jojo said, is expected to build public awareness on pollution problems, play a major role in monitoring the health of Vembanad lake and help to resolve pollution issues.

It will also help to determine the quality of the estuary and assess the effectiveness of existing management efforts and make lakeside residents, policy makers and other interested citizens aware of the qualitative deterioration of the lake.

Sampling points

“In order to get a representative character of the lake, 14 sampling points were identified. A few reference sites (near Marthandam) will be sampled.

The samples will be collected at least once in a month. A basin station will be set up at every identified sampling point and volunteers will be trained in water sampling and primary data collection using water quality monitoring kits,” Mr. Jojo said.

ATREE also intends to seek inputs and technical know-how of the scientific community, technical departments and universities in the area. The School of Environmental Studies, MG University, Kottayam, School of Environmental Studies, Cochin University, the Rice Research Station at Mankombu, the District Pollution Control Boards at Alappuzha and Kottayam have been contacted for the purpose.

The programme will be inaugurated by K.S. Manoj, MP, at 9.30 a.m. on Thursday at the Pulimootil Trade Centre here.