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UPSC Mains 2021

What are the environmental implications of the reclamation of the water bodies into urban land use? Explain with examples.

General Studies Paper - 1, Topic - Urbanization and Land Use

Jan 08, 2023

2 min read

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The reclamation of water bodies into urban land use can have significant environmental implications. One major impact is the loss of natural habitat for plants and animals. When a water body is filled in and developed, the plants and animals that depend on that habitat are often unable to survive. This can lead to the extinction of certain species or the disruption of entire ecosystems.

 

Another impact is the alteration of natural water cycles and hydrology. Water bodies play a key role in regulating local water systems, and filling them in can disrupt these systems and lead to changes in water quality and quantity. For example, if a wetland is filled in and paved over, it can no longer absorb and filter stormwater, leading to increased runoff and the potential for flooding downstream.

 

There can also be social and economic impacts of water body reclamation. Many people rely on water bodies for recreation, tourism, and other economic activities. The loss of these resources can have negative impacts on local communities and economies.

 

One example of the environmental impacts of water body reclamation is the filling in of Tokyo Bay in Japan. In the 1950s and 60s, the bay was heavily dredged and filled in to create new land for urban development. This led to the loss of natural habitat and the disruption of local ecosystems, as well as changes in water quality and quantity.

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