The Wetland Book pp 1743-1750 | Cite as

Wetlands of Mahanadi Delta (India)

  • Ritesh Kumar
  • Pranati Patnaik
Reference work entry


The Delta of Mahanadi, a major east flowing peninsular river of India, has a diverse regime of wetlands closely governed by landforms and hydrological regimes. The upper delta region, having a fanning distributary system with intervening alluvial plains, has wetlands mostly in the form of small fresh waterbodies developed as depressions on both flanks of the Rivers Mahanadi and Brahmani. The central delta, with predominantly clayey soil has wetlands primarily in the form of floodplains connected to active river channels as well as paleo-channels. Also located within the central delta are ephemeral wetlands located in the alluvial floodplain zones. Within the narrow coastal plains, wetland distribution is governed by the interaction between coastal and freshwater processes. Extensive hydrological fragmentation and landuse changes have significantly altered water and sediment distribution patterns within the delta, and loss of connectivity between river channels and floodplains. Owing to a range of pressures, the wetland area has undergone at least 32% decline during the period between 1975 and 2010. The State Government of Odisha constituted the State Wetland Development Authority in 2011 for undertaking integrated management of the entire wetlands of the state, including those of the Mahanadi Delta. The government has initiated management planning for wetlands with high biodiversity value on a priority basis. Changing climate within the deltaic landscape further reinforces the urgency for securing wetland functioning within a rapidly developing delta.


Delta Floodplains Ephemeral wetlands Mangroves Embankments 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wetlands International South AsiaNew DelhiIndia

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