The lakes are beginning and end, beginning and inseparable link with the history, culture and values of society that, like mirrors, reflect, as silent witnesses, our relationship with the territory, and our ability to collaborate and cooperate to maintain or improve the goods and services we receive from such important aquatic ecosystems. They are the beginning, because the same water of its marvelous mirror runs from the high parts of the mountains in an indissoluble union of the basin and its lake; and it is the end because it is the recipient of the accumulated impacts and of its capacity to absorb them.
Lakes are a mirror, a living and complex reflection of the interrelationships and relationships between life and development, of today’s decisions and tomorrow’s well-being; they are therefore one of the last freshwater reserves we have; they represent a source of inspiration but also a faithful message of our individual and collective decisions, as well as the habitat of the great biodiversity of terrestrial and aquatic species, both temporary and permanent, shaping our identity and natural heritage.
Lakes are a genuine expression of the hydrological cycle, and are also a reflection of the interaction between soil, vegetation, life and hydrological dynamics based on the structure and functioning of the entire network of rivers and streams that converge at a single point -the lake-, in a mission of storing water and shaping habitats chiseled in geological times, and a more recent one of maintaining the quality and quantity of ecosystem services for the life of people and ecosystems, while the pressures for their extensive degradation intensify and are exacerbated in a context of climate change.
The multidirectionality and the relatively long retention time of their water flows integrate in a complex way the functioning of these aquatic ecosystems with the socio-ecosystemic dynamics of the basin and its lake, these interactions being conditioned by the origin or age of the lake, the climate, the salinity and the stratification or dynamics of flows of matter, life and energy within the water body; these unique characteristics make each lake, lagoon or artificial water body living entities, genuine and unrepeatable in their functioning, their responsiveness and social, economic, cultural and ecosystemic integration, generating unique ways of building collaboration and cooperation for the management and integrated management.
I invite everyone to read Matias’ post with the topic of the day.