Lake Biwa or Biwa-ko (琵琶湖), is a large fresh water body of water just north-west of Kyoto and Osaka, Japan.
Because of its proximity to the ancient capital, Biwako is often referenced in literature, poetry, and as a reference point for historical battles.
Lake Biwa is located in Shiga in Japan. It is the largest lake in Japan. The area of this lake is about 670km2. It is same size as Awaji-shima.
There are rivers that run to other prefectures and it used for drinking water. About 15million people get their drinking water from Lake Biwa. However, unfortunately Lake Biwa is getting dirty lately. So there are some laws that keep the lake clean. Other problem is that foreign fish called "black bass" have begun to destroy the ecosystem in the lake.
Lake Biwa is one of the most ancient lakes in the world. It was born about 4million years ago. There are only about 10 ancient lakes in the world.
This lake has about 1100 kinds of living things. There are about 58 kinds of living things that live only in Lake Biwa. Lake Biwa is important place for water birds. About 5 thousand water birds visit Lake Biwa every year.
The treaty for Lake Biwa that Shiga prefecture has
- The treaty to prevent eutrophication
This was enacted in 1981 and first enforced on July 1, 1982; therefore, this day is called “the day of Lake Biwa”. The characteristic of the treaty is that local government established the standard of draining of nitrogen and phosphorus. They also banned from people using and selling synthetic detergents that include phosphorus. As a result, synthetic detergent was changed into “No phosphorus detergent”. On the other hand, people are seldom using soap that was temporarily popular in Japan.
The formal name is “the treaty about internationally precious marsh where especially the water birds range” This treaty was adopted at Ramsar in Iran in 1971. The object of this treaty is to plan the protection and sensible use of internationally precious marsh. Mainly, the marsh Kushiro in Japan is registered in this treaty now.
- The treaty to protect reed colony
The reed colony on shore forms the scenery in Lake Biwa and has been used as bamboo blind. It is said that they play an important role in purifying water as habitats of birds and fish. However, once, there was a lerge of reed colony in shore on Lake Biwa, they suddenly decreased because of development. In later surveys, local governments proved they decreased by half. The object of this treaty was established to protect, grow, and utilize reed colony and has been enforced since 1992.
Live Lake Biwa Webcam