Climate and Vulnerability Assessment of ‘Oussudu Lake’

Freshwater biomes like ponds, lakes, catchment areas, streams, rivers, and even oceans are irreversibly polluted, because of extensive urbanization and urban sprawl. The water-related threats and associated environmental issues are aggravating day-by-day. Even the heritage and environmentally important sites are no excuse. One such historically and ecologically important site, that currently getting polluted, thereby necessitating attention from the Government, is Oussudu Lake at Oulgaret Municipality of Puducherry, and more importantly, it was also crowned with the title ‘First Bird Sanctuary of Puducherry’. This report, prepared under the direction of Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi,  highlights, the careful investigative analysis that was done on all sides of the lake, to find out the possible threats, to the ecosystems and climate of the lake. Along with various threats, 30 site-specific serious human threats, proceeded by 4 natural threats and 5 climate change threats were also investigated and mitigating measures were provided. Other details like upper catchment areas, physical characteristics and hydraulic particulars of the lake, the effort is taken by various researchers, Government of India and Puducherry initiatives, lake rejuvenation and its relevance to sustainable development goals, and green protocol for the lake were also provided.

Further, by integrating various recommendations provided by the PWD Officials, researchers and professionals, the findings (adopted and investigated) were represented in Tables, covering descriptive details on the birds, butterflies, amphibians, turtles, lizards, snakes, mammals, crustaceans, fishes, trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants respectively. Whereas the consolidated numbers of plant taxa, consolidated numbers of animal taxa were also incorporated. Boathouse and trekking trail development that needs immediate attention were also identified, carefully investigated and logical recommendations were provided. For the promotion of ‘Culture-based ecotourism’, measures for immediate rejuvenation were also recommended, which would, in turn, increase the unique selling propositions of the lake.