Wular Lake is located 34 km northwest of Srinagar city at an altitude of 1,570 mts a.m.s.l between 34 0 17’ 45” to 34 0 25’ 30” N and 74 0 31’ 40” to 74 0 40’ 15” E. It is elliptical in shape with a maximum length of 16 km and breadth of 7.6 km. The lake is surrounded by high mountainous ranges on the northeastern and northwestern sides, which drain their runoff through various nallahs, prominent being Erin and Madumati. On the eastern and southern sides are the low lying areas of Sonawari which used to get inundated almost every year until numerous criss-crossing embankments were constructed along River Jhelum. The lake area thus reclaimed has in the recent past been brought under cultivation of paddy and plantations of willow, poplar and fruit trees. On the western side in the Sopore-Watlab section, low lying areas have also been brought under paddy cultivation. On the eastern side of the lake is an island which was raised and shaped by a famous ruler of Kashmir, Zainul-Abidin, who ruled Kashmir from 1420-1470 AD. Wular is a shallow lake with a maximum depth of 5.8m. The lake area as per demarcation carried out is 130 Sqkm.
Wular with its associated wetlands supports rich biodiversity and provides important habitats for migratory water birds within Central Asian Flyway. The lake is the largest fisheries resource in Kashmir valley supporting livelihoods of large human population living along its fringes. Regulation of hydrological regimes of the basin through Wular and its associated wetlands protects the Kashmir valley from floods as well as maintains flows to support agriculture and hydropower generation. The wetland also generates revenue to the state government through harvesting of water chestnuts, which grow profusely in the lake area. The catchments of the lake support coniferous forests, alpine pastures and orchards, adding to the natural grandeur of the wetland. Recognizing importance of the wetland for its biodiversity and socioeconomic values, the lake was designated as wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1990.
The J & K Government formally constituted the “Wular Conservation and Management Authority” (WUCMA) in 2012 vide SRO-311 & 314 of 2012 under the J & K Development Act of 1970 and the Authority came into existence in 2011-2012. The Authority has been given the task of conservation and preservation of the Wular Lake and its feeder channels as well as the treatment of its catchment area falling under Erin and Madhumati watersheds in district Bandipora. The Authority is headed by Chief Executive Director