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Lake Profile

Bhopal (Bhoj Wetlands)

General Information

Description Upper Bhopal Lake is arguably the oldest man-made lake in India, and was created by Raja Bhoj in the 11th Century by constructing an earthen dam across the Kolans river. The Upper & Lower Bhopal lakes (also known as Bhoj Wetlands) are urban water bodies. The upper lake is a major source of potable water for the people of the city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. The lower lake was constructed much later on the down stream of the dam of Upper lake.
Country India
Latitude 23° 12' 0" (23.2000)
Longitude 77° 18' 0" (77.3000)


 Bhopal Lakes global index map (LakeNet Explorer)
 Bhopal Lakes locator map
 Lake Basin Management Initiative (LakeNet Explorer)

Physical Characteristics

Description The eastern catchment of Upper lake is urban whereas the western catchment is rural in nature. The Lower lake is surrounded from all sides by human settlements.
Surface Area 32.29 km2
Depth Maximum depth: 11.7 m
Age 0 - 10,000 years before present
Origin Human Made
Type Fresh
Catchment Catchment size: 371.00 km2
Catchment/surface area ratio: 11:1


Economic Value The Upper Lake is a source of potable water and meets 40% of the demand i.e. 29 MGD of drinking water for the city’s growing population. Its fishing rights have been given on long lease by the BMC to a fisherman co-operative consisting of some 500 fishermen families. The Lower Lake is mainly a recreational site. The livelihood of 250 washer-men families belonging to socio-economically weaker sections of the society is dependent on the Lower Lake.
Major Cities Bhopal
Population 500,000 (2003)

Watershed Management

Description Several in-lake treatment measures have been taken to remove eutrophication and improve water quality including dredging and de-silting, de-weeding and water hyacinth removal.
Watershed Action Plan Implementation underway
Sub-basin Action Plan Implementation underway
Issues Water scarcity has become the most serious problem facing hte Bhopal lakes. During the 20th Century anthropogenic degradation of the water supply has been attributed to human population growth, urbanization, industrialization and chemically-intensive agriculture.
Invasive Species Moderate Impact
Other Issues Erosion
Invasive Species
Lake Levels (water quantity)
Nutrient pollution
Point source pollution
Monitoring Programs In-Lake
Water Quality
Biological Resources and Habitats
Lake Use

Water Quality
Biological Resources and Habitats
Land Use

Biodiversity Conservation

Designations Ramsar Site
Species of Concern

LakeNet Programs

World Lake Basin Management Initiative
India: Workshop on Management of Wetlands Through Integrated Management Planning
LBMI Regional Experience Sharing & Review Workshop for Asia


Bhopal (Bhoj Wetlands)   (PDF) Experience Brief. Final. 2/27/2006.
Bhopal: World Bank Comments on Experience Brief  Experience Brief. Draft. World Bank. 3/22/2004.


Bhoj Wetland Conservation & Management
Economic Valuation of Bhoj Wetland for Sustainable Use
Lake Conservation Authority
Mapping Chlorophyll-a in Upper Lake, Bhopal Using IRS-1C Data
Photo essay: Bhoj Wetlands, Bhopal, India
Ramsar profile of sites in India


4/23/2004 - Towards a Lake Basin Management Initiative
2/4/2003 - India may become hot spot for mercury poisoning
9/29/2002 - Lake Bhopal Conservation & Management Project selected as Ambassador Project for achievements toward sustainability
11/13/2001 - Bhoj Wetland Project receives NALMS 2001 Achievement award (India)

Additional Data Sources

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The List of Wetlands of International Importance.

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