Advanced Training Programme on Urban Lake Management

Date: 19th – 22nd February, 2019
Venue: Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute (AAETI), Nimli, Rajasthan

School of Water and Waste organized a four-day hands-on training on urban lake management; in continuation to the previous training held in September 2018. The ‘Advanced Training on Urban Lake Management’ was organised between 19thto 22nd February, 2019.

The training aimed to develop capacity of various stakeholders responsible or involved in lake management. The programme involved a total of 16 participants, which were a mix of participants from the previous training, and other mix of academicians, engineers, planners, students involved in lake conservation and management. The training programme was designed to provide hands-on activity based learning, where the participants were given an exercise to prepare a lake management plan for Damdama Lake. Each hands-on activity/ field visit/ exercise was designed to facilitate step-by-step preparation of a lake management plan that is context specific. The programme design also incorporated sessions on success stories and challenges by experts who have implemented strategies within their context for lake restoration, revival and management.

For the list of participants who attended the training programme – Click here

The training started with an overview of the previous lake training (held in September 2019) by Mr. Rudresh Sugam, which was followed by a brief overview of the characteristics, status and typology of lakes by Dr Brij Gopal. These sessions were followed by an overview of the preparation of urban lake management plan by Ms. Shivali Jainer. The session highlighted the steps involved in preparation of a lake management plan, with focus on multi-stakeholder assessment, vision-setting and other technical data requirements and analysis. Post-lunch, S. Vishwanath of Biome, Bengaluru shared the learnings from Jakkur Lake, Bengaluru. He provided key insights on techniques of engagement of various stakeholders and their roles in urban lake management.

This was followed by the introduction to Damdama Lake, which was presented by Prof. Dr Aarti Grover, Dept. of Landscape Architecture, SPA Delhi, who had undertaken an academic study on Damadama Lake with the student's batch of 2017-2019. She was aided by Mayukh and Bala, student representatives of the same batch. The presentation provided valuable secondary data on the evolution and physical environment of Damadama lake and its catchment area. Following this, the participants were divided in three groups to prepare lake management plans based on three different approaches: People, Profit, Planet. The day ended with extensive exercises on baseline data collection, stakeholder mapping and preparation of checklist for the field survey. Each groupwas also provided with relevant maps and factsheet on Damdama Lake, providing necessary regulatory framework and baseline information.

The second day of the training programme was reserved for the field visit to Damdama Lake and its catchment area. The participants were taken for a hike down-stream to the lake, during which they explored the physical environment of the catchment, collecting information on land cover, vegetation and other activities in and around the lake. They were also able to interact with various stakeholders in and around the lake. Post-lunch, the participants further explored the neighbouring village and interacted with the village elders and residents. The field survey was concluded with a detailed discussion with the Sarpanch of Damdama Village, Mr. Saurash Khatana on various aspects exploring the physical and cultural linkages of the villagers with the lake.

The third day started with participants engaged in the exercise of identification of issues and challenges, which they analysed through the secondary data and primary survey from days 1 and 2 respectively. This was followed by case studies presented by practitioners of successful lake management. Mr. Yusuf Arsiwala, Senior Consultant, Delhi Jal Board explained in detail the process of revival of the Rajokri Lake. Mr. Manu Bhatnagar, Principal Director, INTACH shared his experience in the revival of Hauz Khas Lake. He also shared his study conducted on Najafgarh Jheel. Mr. Diwan Singh, Coordinator, Yamuna Satyagraha enlightened the participants with his experience through revival of Pochanpur Lake. All three practitioners provided key inputs on the technical aspects, stakeholder analysis and implementation and management of lake management strategies. These sessions were followed by a presentation on pollution abatement in water bodies by Ms. Chhavi Sharda. The session focussed on providing key pollution abatement strategies for management of water quality. This was followed by group exercises on vision, goals, objectives and action plan. The participants then worked in their respective groups to prepare the lake management plan. The group work sessions were extended post-dinner.

The final day of the training was reserved for presentations of each group to jury members. The jury consisted of Mr. Rudresh Sugam and Ms. Gita Kavarana from CSE. Each group was given 20 minutes to present followed by 15 minutes of question and answers. All groups provided holistic short-term, medium-term and long-term strategies focussing on people, profit and planet. The jury scored each groupon the basis of stakeholder identification, inclusiveness in management planning, short-term/ medium term and long terms action plans. Of the three participant’s group – planet group had their vision influenced by stakeholders, economic benefits and ecological sustenance respectively. The profit group scored the highest marks in the presentation. The training ended with a feedback session conducted by Mr. Rudresh Sugam to understand the areas of improvement and identify participants who would be willing to be a part of long-term network with CSE.

For further information contact 

Chhavi Sharda
Training Coordinator, Deputy Programme Manager, 
Water Programme
+91-11-40616000 (Ext: 244), 

Dr. Suresh Kumar Rohilla, Senior Director& Academic Director, 
(School of Water and Waste, Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute – AAETI).


Thank you very much for providing such opportunities to enrich our knowledge, provide platform to share our research experience with fellow participants and coming up with management strategies. I like the training approach where we are given the different task with case studies. It helps in identification of the key points which need to be considered in preparing the lake management plan"

– Dr. Rajiv Kangabam
"Great experience taking part in these session. Lot of learnings. I am carrying back best practices from across the nation"

– Anil Kumar Y N
"Well structured plan of executing the field visit, identifying the issues, looking for different opportunities from existing issues and finally with a hands-on experience, which has a good potential in future"

– Narayanan T
"The steps and procedure were clearly mentioned in the workbook. Overall course of the training was very well prepared in a short and comprehensive manner"

– Aman Sonel
"For a 4-day training, the duration of the field visit was perfect. The intensity of activity demanded on site was to a level appropriate to the inter-disciplinary nature of the participants. Well planned!"

– Arunima Chakravarty