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Foreword to the WLDBook

This is the fifth and final report from the project, "Survey of the State of World Lakes", jointly carried out by the International Lake Environment Committee Foundation (ILEC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The project was launched by the two organizations in 1987 to provide basic information for the environmentally sound management and sustainable development of lakes and reservoirs and their resources. The centre for International Projects (CIP) of the former USSR join the project in 1990.

Since the publication of the first report in 1988, both scientific and socio-economic data on the environment of 217 lakes and reservoirs in 73 countries have been compiled into five volumes. Of these, 64 are from Asia (ASI), 4 from Oceania (OCE), 56 from Europe (EUR), 20 from Africa (AFR), 61 are from North America (NAM), and 12 from South America (SAM). Natural freshwater lakes accounts for 73%, natural salt or brackish laks for 8%, and reservoirs for the remaining 19%. The volumes include approximately 20% of the so-called "large lakes" of the world larger than 500km2 in surface area, and 13 of the 14 largest (1,000 km2 or bigger) freshwater lakes in the world.

This project was probably the first attempt to compile standardized information from worldwide lakes with extremely diverse environments and inevitably needed extensive international cooperation. The editorial committee would like to express their sincerest thanks to a great number of researchers and institues for their valuable contribution to these volumes, including the National Water Research Institute of Canada that undertook to compile Canadian lakes data in 1989-1990; Thanks are also extended to the authors of scientific papers and books, from which partial citation or reproduction was made with their permission.

Finally, on behalf of ILEC and the editorial committee, we express our heartfelt appriciation for the financial support provided by the UNEP, Shiga Prefectural Government and the Japana Shipping Industry Foundation during the course of the project.

March 1994
Tatuo KIRA, chief editor
Chairperson, Scientific Committee of ILEC and Director, Lake Biwa Research Institute
Akira KURATA, managing editor
Head Researcher, ILEC and Ex-Head of Research Section, Lake Biwa Research Institute

This is the fourth report from the Join ILEC/UNEP project "Survey of the State of World Lakes", compiling geographical, limnological, socio-economic and environmental data on 38 lakes and reservoirs from Mongolia, Russia, eastern and southern Europe, USA, Canada, South America and Africa, which are newly added to 145 natural and man-made lakes of the world dealt with in the preceding three reports (1988-1990). Since the publication of the last report (1990), The Centre for International Project (CIP) of the former USSR has joined ILEC and UNEP in the project.

The greater part of this report consists of data from Canadian and Russin lakes, supplied by the National Water Research Institute of Canada and the USSR State Committee for Environmental Protection (through CIP), respectively. Representing the International Lake Environment Committee Foundation (ILEC) and Lake Biwa Research Institute (LBRI), which have been responsible for the editorial work since the start of the project in 1987, I would like to express the editorial committee's hearfelt thanks for the cooperation of these two organizations as well as by those who kindly contributed relevant information to this report from other parts of the world.

The importance of lakes/reservoirs as sources of freshwater is ever increasing. Rivers and aquifer, which used to be the main source of freshwater for human communities, are now rarely capable of meeting water demands from big cities and industrial centers due to either the unstablenesso or the shortage of their supplying capacity, and tend to be replaced by natural or man-made lakes. However, lake systems with their stagnant water, limited size and more or less complete isolation from other water bodies are very fragile and liable to environmental degradation. The amount and quality of water resources in lakes are progressively threatened by various kinds of environmental problems all over the world, including accelerated siltation due to the mis-use of lands in their catchments declining water level caused by over-use of water, toxic contamination, acidification and eutrophication. Besides, lake biota, which contains the more diverse endemic species the longer the history of the lakes' isolation, are concurrently being degenerated or exterminated to the irreversible loss of biological diversity from aquatic ecosystems.

We earnestly hope that the data compiled in these reports, including various cases of lake environment deterioration, responsible factors concerned and exmaples of both success and failure of countermeasures taken, will help decision-makers and technical experts in their unending efforts toward the sustainable management of lake resources and environments.

December 1991, at Otsu
Tatuo Kira
Chief Editor
Chairperson, Scientific Committee of ILEC
and Director, LBRI

This data book is the major output from a joint ILEC/UNEP project, Survey of the State of World Lakes. The International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC) and the Lake Biwa Research Institute (LBRI) are jointly responsible for the editorial work. The whole three-year-project includes, besides the publication of the data book, in-depth studies on some important lakes and lake environment issues and a synthetic report based on the data collected.

Despite increasing demand for a methodology fo sustainable development of lakes, few principles or guidelines have been developed on environmentally sound management of lakes and their catchment areas. The collection of information and numerical data on the present status of lakes in the wold is urgently required for the development of such principles and guidelines, which would be useful for lake management experts as well as for desicion makers and planners, especially indeveloping countries.

This publication was intended to cimpile geographical, limnological, socio-economic and environmental data on as many lakes of the world as possible to provide a basis for environmentally sound management consistent with sustainable development policies related to lakes. Multidisciplinary analyses of the data collected are expected to contribute greatly to the formulation of lake management guidelines, which is the subject of another project being carried on by ILEC and UNEP.

On the occasion of the Shiga Conference '84 on Conservation and Management of World Lake Environment (LECS '84) held at Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Japan in 1984, LBRI and the National Institute for Research Advancement (NIRA) first attempted to prepare an original version of such a data book. However, this "Data Book of World Lakes" covered only 52 freshwater lakes. The presen volume is essentially a revised and greatly augmented version of the LECS book. The number of lakes is significantly increased to cover saline and brackish lakes also, while several data items are newly added.

The data and information compiled in this book were obtained by asking scientists, research institues and administrative offices in many countries to fill the standard questionnaire sheets. Relevant books and scientific papers were also consulted for additional information. There are of course limitations to such a method of data collection. Inevitably the data obtained do not always fit the standard form requested by the editors. Socio-economic, legilative and managerial data are always more difficult to collect than geographical and limnological data. The editors have to apologize that the data are so heterogeneous in form and that the completeness of data differs widely from on lake to another.

The original questionnaire sheets are reproduced here as an appndis for the users' reference. The editorial committee is sincerely grateful for the cooperation by those who kindly responded to the questionnaire and whose anmes are mentioned for respective lakes in the text. Thanks are also due to the authors of the books and/or scientific papers for permitting their partial ciation ore reproduction.

To balance the distribution of work and printing cost over the three-year period, it was decided to print the completed text successively athe the end of each year. Therefor the book takes a filing form. Additional pages are successively printed and added to the file. Lakes ae tentatively classified in six geographical groups, Asia (ASI), Oceania (OCE), Europe (EUR), Africa (AFR), North America (NAM), and South America (SAM), and numbered in each group according to the time order of manuscript preparation. The geographical and alphabetical indices of lake names will be prepared at the end of the project period.

Representing ILEC and the editorial committee, I would like to express our appreciation for financial aid from UNEP and the Prefectural Government of Shiga, and heartfelt thanks to Dr. Mastafa Tolba, Executive Director of UNEP, the late Dr. Lazlo David of the Water and Lithosphere Unit of UNEP and Dr. M. Nakayama for their effective support and advice to the present project.

December 1987, Otsu
Tatuo Kira
Chairperson of ILEC and Chief Editor