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The last half of the 20th century has been witness to two phenomena of great ecological consequence: first, unprecedented population growth and second, industrialization. These two have had immediate adverse impact on fresh water ecosystems, manifesting themselves in terms of gross pollution of ground and surface waters, destruction of catchments and progressive reduction of water holding capacity of water bodies. With reference to lakes and impoundments mainly created for irrigation purpose, the degrading impact is more severe particularly in urban environments. Destructive factors include pollution from untreated domestic sewage, solid waste and industrial effluents entering from catchment. Mir-Alam lake in Hyderabad, India is a typical example of this manifest phenomenon and therefore, its conservation is likely to set a precedence for the ecological history of this part of the country.
Lakes maintain am ecological balance of flora and fauna interrelationship, regulate surrounding climate and recharge ground water, but unfortunately they are dying. The lake is getting polluted due to inflow of domestic effluents, next to pollution resulting from washing of clothes, vehicles, buffaloes, immersion of idols in the lakes during certain festivals, etc. All activities are deteriorating the quality of the water in the lake, resulting in the accumulation of toxic chemicals and other sludges, which leads to limnological imbalances. The quality of water is decreased by its physical, chemical and micro-biological characteristics. As such, an attempt is made to portray the water quality and biological characteristics of Mir-Alam Lake, the oldest man-made lake within the metropolis of Hyderabad city, to facilitate possible conservation and management measures.