Lake Baikal, in Siberia, Russia is the greatest freshwater lake in terms of volume and contains approximately 20% of the world’s surface fresh water. The lake houses over 1,700 species of plants and animals of which many can be found nowhere else in the world. Thus, the lake has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (1996). The lake holds importance for tourism as well as fishing activities.
It is said to be one of the world’s oldest lakes and in 2007, the government declared it as a special economic zone. There are various hotels and resorts built or coming up around the lake.
This large freshwater lake is situated in the Andes Mountains on the border of Bolivia and Peru. It is the largest lake in South America in terms of volume. It receives water from 27 rivers in its basin and the outflow is mainly into the Desaguadero River. There are various islands in the lake made of floating reeds and have become an important tourist attraction for this lake. It is also home to a large population of water birds and was given the status of a Ramsar Site in 1998. 90% of the fish species in the lake are endemic.
Fishing is a major economic activity taking place in the lake. The main species cultivated are Karachi and Ipsi. The water level of the lake has been reducing since 2000, mainly due to shortened rainy season in the area. Pollution is also an increasing concern as the cities in the catchment are growing rapidly, and sometimes urban services cannot compete with the growth.
Also called Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre, this lake is at the lowest point in Australia (15m below msl). Flooding occurs every three years of approximately 1.5m and once in a decade goes up to about 4m. The lake has been identified as an Imprtant Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International. During flooding, many birds such as Banded Stilt, Australian Pelican and so on come to the lake for breeding.
The lake is seasonal and the amount of water entering the lake depends on the rain received by the region. The lake receives very little water due to its low location. Although there is not much activity taking place in the lake, the basin holds great economic importance for mining and petroleum industries.................................................................