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Central Water Commission

(Serving the nation since 1945)

Glacial Lakes/Water Bodies in Himalayan Region

Central Water Commission,
Planning & Development Organization

Glacial Lakes/Water Bodies in Himalayan Region

Glacial lakes are common in the high elevation of glacierised basin. They are formed when glacial ice or moraines or natural depressions impound water. There are varieties of such lakes, ranging from melt water ponds on the surface of glacier to large lakes in side valleys dammed by a glacier in the main valley. These lakes normally drain their water through seepage in front of the retreating glacier. The moraine creates topographic depression in which the melt water is generally accumulated leading to formation of glacial lake. When this lake is watertight, melt waters will accumulate in the basin until seepage or overflow limits the lake level.

Such moraine-dammed lakes appear to be the most common type of glacial lakes. The impoundment of the melt may sometimes be unstable, leading to sudden release of large quantities of stored water. Failure of these ice or moraine dams leading to disastrous destruction events has been documented throughout the world. Flash floods caused by the outburst of glacial lakes, called as Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF), are well known in Himalaya where such lakes had often been formed by landslides. GLOFs have immense potential of flooding in downstream areas, causing disastrous consequences due to release of large volumes of water in very short interval of time. Most often, the consequences arising out of such situations are highly unpredictable primarily due to lack of availability of sufficient data regarding rainfall intensity, location of landslide, impounded volume and area and physical conditions of lakes/ water bodies. Therefore, Glacial Lakes and Water Bodies in Himalayan Region need to be closely monitored.

Inventory of Glacial Lakes/Water bodies in Himalayan region

Monitoring of Glacial Lakes/Water bodies in Himalayan region

Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) study of South Lhonak Lake in Sikkim

What's New in CWC

The total water available in live storage of 91 reservoirs in the country being monitored by CWC was 55.923 BCM as on 14.03.2019.This is 35% of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs and 100% of storage of average of last ten years. The overall storage position is more than the ..Read More

15/03/2019

34th Meeting of National Committee on Seismic Design Parameters (NCSDP) held on 26.02.2019 at CWC-HQ, New Delhi. 6 Projects were considered by the committee. Member D&R CWC is the chairman of the committee with 11 other experts as members from various organisations.

05/03/2019

A roundtable of states is going to be organised on 6th March 2019 at CWC-HQ New Delhi on Inter State Water Governance.

05/03/2019

Minutes of 3rd Meeting of Joint Team of Experts of India and Nepal for Pancheshwar Project at Kathmandu signed on 01.03.2019.

05/03/2019

Central Water Commission in collaboration with Odisha Water Resources Department and the World Bank successfully organised International Dam Safety Conference - 2019 during 13-14 February 2019 at Bhubaneswar, Odisha. It was conculded by holding a press conference on 15 Feb 2019 in the presence ..Read More

15/02/2019

39th Meeting of the National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS) under Chairmanship of Chairman, CWC being held at Bhubaneswar on 11 February 2019.

12/02/2019

Chairman, Central Water Commission handed over Emergency Action Plan document of Hirakud Dam to Principal Secretary, Odisha Water Resources Department on January 10 , 2019 at Rajiv Bhawan, Bhubaneswar. The EAP has been prepared under DRIP to act as model document for other Dam owners.

10/01/2019

Govt of Gujarat has signed MoU on 7th January 2019 with Central Water Commission and CWPRS at Gandhinagar for Implementation of Coastal Management Information System (CMIS) in the State.

10/01/2019