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International Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering Research (IJESER) ISSN: 0976-3708 (print) IJESER Vol 2(1):0-14,

International Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering Research (IJESER) ISSN: 0976-3708 (print) IJESER Vol 2(1):0-14, 2011

Seasonal Water Quality Index of Tungabhadra River Karnataka, India

B.K. Harish Kumar and S. Srikantaswamy*

Department of Studies in Environmental Science, University Of Mysore, Manasagangotri, Mysore 570 006, Karnataka, India


Water is super abundant on the planet as a whole, but potable water is not always available at the right time or right place for human or ecosystem use. The importance of water is underscored by the fact that many great civilizations in the past sprang up along or near water bodies. The development of water resources has often been used as a yardstick for socioeconomic and health status of many nations worldwide. However, its pollution often negates the benefits obtained from the development of these water resources. In the present study an attempt has been made to evaluate water quality of Tungabhadra River for a period of one year. In order to evaluate the quality of Tungabhadra River, water samples were collected from different locations in various seasons during 2009-2010. Analyses were carried out with various chemical techniques to determine the water quality. The water quality parameters were analyzed; temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, total dissolved solid (TDS), dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, total hardness, total alkalinity, chloride, Nitrate, phosphate, sulphate, calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. Ten different stations were selected in the present study along the river basin for the sample collection. Seasonal water quality index (WQI) has been calculated by correlating various parameters analyzed and is compared with WHO standards. During summer WQI is more than the other seasons. Also, the WQI at the upstream is more than the downstream. It was observed that the impact of human activity was severe on most of the parameters. It was observed that the main cause of deterioration in water quality was due to the lack of proper sanitation, unprotected river sites and high anthropogenic activities.

Keywords: Tungabhadra River; TB Dam; Water Quality Index; Physico-chemical Parameters


Pollution of a river first affects its chemical quality and then systematically destroys the community disrupting the delicate food web. Diverse uses of the rivers are seriously impaired due to pollution and even the polluters like industry suffer due to increased pollution of the rivers. River pollution has several dimensions and effective monitoring and control of river pollution requires the expertise from various disciplines (Trivedi et al 1990). Pollution of river is a global problem. In India it is reported that about 70 per cent of the available water is polluted. Chief source of pollution is identified as sewage (constituting 84 to 92% of waste water), Industrial waste water (comparing 8 to 16%). Indian rivers are polluted due to the discharge of


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untreated sewage and industrial effluents (Bhardwaj


Indiscriminate and large scale deforestation and over grazing in the watershed areas of river basins have caused soil erosion resulting in considerable silting of dams and shrinkage of river flows. This leads to the flooding of the rivers at the time of excessive rains (Goel 2006). Disposal of waste leads to contamination of river and lakes chronically affecting the flora and fauna. According to surveys carried out on selected stretches of important rivers, it has been found that most of the rivers are grossly polluted. Domestic sewage of a population of about 2 millions gives rise to numerous water-borne diseases like typhoid, cholera, dysentery, poliomyelitis and cysticercosis, thereby