River Cauvery – How to Save?

October 1, 2020 by Santhinidevi

“RIVER CAUVERY” is one of the 7 holy rivers of INDIA; 3rd largest river in south India and the main largest river to the state of Tamil Nadu


Cauvery originated from Karnataka in the ‘Brahmagiri Hills’ in Kodagu (Coorg) at an elevation of 1,341 meters above the mean sea level.

Starts its journey from a small pond named ‘Kundike Pond’ then Flows in South-East through Karnataka & Tamil Nadu for about 800 Km then joins ‘The Bay of Bengal’

On its journey, the river passes through highways, cities, small villages, forests, hills, many temples & irrigation farm lands and through many industrial areas as well.

River basin of Cauvery covers 3 States & Union Territory,

  1. Tamil Nadu – 43,868 Sq Km
  2. Karnataka – 34,273 Sq Km
  3. Kerala – 2,866 Sq Km
  4. Puducherry – 148 Sq Km

Also there is a water sharing rate between the 3 states & Union Territory,

  • Karnataka – 284.75 tmc ft
  • Tamil Nadu – 404.25 tmc ft
  • Kerala – 30 tmc ft
  • Puducherry – 7 tmc ft

Tributaries of River Cauvery

  • Harangi River – Karnataka
  • Hemavati River – Karnataka
  • Lakshmana Tirtha – Karnataka
  • Amaravathi River – Tamil Nadu & Kerala
  • Bhavani River – Tamil Nadu & Kerala
  • Kabini River – Karnataka, Kerala & Tamil Nadu
  • Noyyal River – Tamil Nadu
  • Arkavathi River – Karnataka & Tamil Nadu

are the major tributaries to Cauvery; Adding to that, there are other small tributaries as well which contributes their part to the river Cauvery.

In Delta areas the river branches into many distributaries.


Cauvery River is one of the main source of Irrigation System’, ‘Generation of Electricity/ Hydraulic Power’, ‘Supports wild life’ and ‘Serves water for household consumption’.

Also the river supported irrigation of Agriculture lands for centuries and served as lifeblood for ancient kingdoms & modern cities as well of South India

It is the main river for irrigation in Tamil Nadu which covers longer distance of the State.

So there is an easy way of getting polluted when the river travels for a longer distance in this modern economic era.



Industrial Growth!

Here are few reasons for the tributaries pollution,

Rapid deterioration of rivers due to industrial pollution. Rapid growth of dying industries near the river basins of Bhavani & Noyyal is the main reason for their pollution.

More than 600 electroplating & moulding units drained their effluents into NOYYAL RIVER.  Knitting units from Tirupur turned the river acidic.

Due to the industrial wastage discharge the salinity level of river water increased upto 1700 mg per litre.

Hundreds of dyeing units around Coimbatore which does not have any effluent treatment plants discharged their waste directly into the river

Continuous discharge of effluents from dyeing units directly increased the chlorine level in water by 4,500 mg

Orathupalayam Dam is the main source of irrigation for about 21, 500 acres agriculture land which has now become the dumpyard of effluents from the dyeing Units. Dam water seepage affects the goodness of underground water.

When the dam water is used to irrigate the agriculture land then there will be a wide spread of pollution which severely affects the farm lands, human and cattle around those areas.

Once the river which enriched the farm lands of thousands of acres now polluting it.

 “What we give, we get it back!”

BHAVANI RIVER is the major water source of Erode District, which is polluted by the effluents which includes Phosphate, sulphate, ammonia & nitrate discharged by various industrial units around the area

The catchment areas of Bhavani River converted into plantation area which causes the SOIL EROSION and the fertilizers used for the plants are polluting the river.

Bhavani River with BhavaniSagar Dam is the main source of irrigation of 2.27 L acres of agriculture land. So most of the fields down the stream also polluted due to this polluted water.

Paper industries was discharging about 46,800 litres of waste water into the cauvery besides 7.5 lakh litres of water polluted by three sugarcane units.

The three water starved districts – coimbatore, erode and karur were among the districts that recorded less rainfall compared to other districts in Tamil Nadu.

Imagine…. Untreated effluents & waste water mixed with river water from one place, just travels for hundreds of miles in water & polluting the fields wherever they flow and also severely affects the biodiversity and ecosystem of the planet. Which is started by human action and ends affecting back the human and environment.

When the highly contaminated tributaries join with Cauvery River the complete polluted water in turn pollutes the 64 percent of agriculture land irrigated by Cauvery, then the same polluted water travels till Bay of Bengal and settles in the Ocean, which finally harms the species under water as well.


  • Strict Industrial policies can be implemented with the help of Govt. and local authorities across the industries located near river basins and catchment areas,
  • Implementation of waste treatment plants based on the industry type,
  • Periodic monitoring of the Industrial waste treatment plants and waste discharge in that particular area.

5 common acts to save (or) to reduce the pollution happening to River Cauvery & its tributaries!

Community composting system

Most of us are aware of recycling our daily kitchen waste to bio-compost which can avoid the wastes getting ended in landfills & dumped in river ways.

Encourage your neighbors/community members and friends to bio-compost and try Community composting

Collecting waste in an isolated area (or) particular location of the street for Bio-Compost

Rain Water Harvesting

This helps to maintain the ground water level which in turns maintain the river flow in that area.

Encourage the village/community people around us to do Rain Water Harvesting which can help to maintain the underground water level and also avoids street waste & rain water getting mixed with river flow which may also results in River pollution

Kitchen Garden turns to Community Garden

Encourage community members to grow plants and grow their own vegetables without chemical fertilizers.

Eco-Friendly Products

Reduce the usage of products with chemicals which slowly harms the nature & human; Go for eco-friendly alternatives.

Bio-cleanser is a best eco-friendly alternative for detergents.

Create/Spread awareness

Spread the word across the community/neighbors and friends on the necessity and how to reduce the spreading pollution near the river basins. Actions which can be taken by an individual to do their part to reduce the pollution.

Post your suggestions and views as a comment.

#CognizantOutreach #GoGreen #SaveNature #SaveWater #HappyGLOing #StartToAct #SpreadAwarness

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By Santhinidevi S | 01-Oct, 2020

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