International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Lakes: Key Points to Consider

  • Lakes can be considered as freshwater analogues of marine systems (i.e. they are both boundary water resources with boundaries between two or more sovereign states) and consequently many of the issues facing LMEs also affect lakes (e.g. fisheries, eutrophication etc). However, lakes are also subject to water scarcity issues affecting river basins (e.g. over abstraction) and consequently the TDA needs to consider upstream drivers. Furthermore, lakes can often lie entirely within a single country, and yet can cause or be affected by transboundary problems if they also lie within a transboundary basin.
  • The TDA and the SAP should also consider hydrologic linkages between different water systems. Lakes, for example, typically have both inflowing and exiting tributaries.  They also may be underlain by interacting aquifers and/or drain to downstream LMEs.  These linkages are very important in regard to making a comprehensive assessment of the nature, impacts, causes, and possible solutions to transboundary problems.