Study on the Arkavathi River

By Nikitha Hadya


Arkavathi River is a river in India that originates from the Nandi Hills of the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka, and flows through Ramanagara, Kanakapura, and Bangalore Rural District. This river is a tributary of the river Kaveri, which it rejoins in Kanakapura. The Arkavathi River basin is a total of 4135 square kilometers, and the river is 190 kilometers in length.

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board uses the Arkavathi River to provide 135 million liters of drinking water to Bangalore per day, in other words, the Arkavathi River provides 20% of the total water supply for the city of Bangalore.

There are two reservoirs built on the river that the water is taken from, the Hesaraghatta and the Thippagondanahalli reservoirs, which were built in 1894 and 1933, respectively.

Sand mining, pollution, and industrial runoff have resulted in the contamination of this important reservoir. Improper waste disposal practices in the Arkavathi River basin is causing groundwater contamination, impairing water quality.

Source: Google Earth


ParametersUnitsObserved Values (recorded 2018)Standard
Dissolved Oxygenmg/L5.446.5-8.0
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)  mg/L  775  50-300
Total ColiformsMPN/100ml160,000 (recorded 2022)0


The temperature range of the river is comparable to the temperature of the air, suggesting optimal conditions for the growth and survival of organisms in the river. The pH and levels of COD, BOD, turbidity, sulfate concentrations seem to be at optimal levels. Although the concentration of TDS is quite high, those thresholds are only for drinking water. As long as the water is purified before consumption, there should be no problem. . The low levels of dissolved oxygen suggest high pollution loads and increased microbial activity. The slightly higher concentration of phosphates suggests advantageous conditions for algae and aquatic plant growth which leads to lower quantities of DO, thus creating aquatic conditions harmful for fishes and other marine organisms. Higher than normal levels of coliforms is certainly cause for concern. These high levels suggest high contamination and low water quality, rendering the river unsuitable for bathing, swimming, and other recreational activities. The increased values for total hardness and TDS in this water body is also caused by pollution of the river through sewage, agrochemical, and industrial runoff contamination.


  1. Unregulated discharge of domestic sewage and industrial waste from surrounding industries and households.
  2. Agro-chemical runoff (chemical fertilizer, pesticides, etc) into the river from surrounding farms
  3. Excessive water withdrawals or diversions that withdraw water from the river faster than it can replenish
  4. Untreated or poorly treated effluents from shore communities discharged into the river.
  5. Destructive land clearance activities in the form of housing, farming, quarrying operations releasing excessive amounts of sediment/silt into the river.


  1. Using bio-fertilizer for farming operations as opposed to chemical fertilizers.
  2. Treating industrial effluents appropriately before releasing it into the river
  3. Solid industrial wastes should not be dumped near the river and instead should be carried and disposed at appropriate solid waste disposal sites.
  4. The sewage system should be well-designed and equipped with the appropriate treatment units to properly treat waste before it is discharged into the lake.


B, Sandhya A., and Jyothi B. P. “Assessment of water quality of Arkavathi Reservoir and its effects on command area.” International Journal of Advances in Science Engineering and Technology, vol. 6, no. 1, 2018, pp. 108-111. Accessed 09 May 2023.

Fathima, Iffath. “A riddle: What is white, rare & deadly?” Bangalore Mirror, 8 February 2023, re-deadly/articleshow/97708433.cms. Accessed 9 May 2023.

Muniyellappa, Ramachandra Mohan. “Water Quality Monitoring of Magadi Hill Range Lakes and Reservoirs of India.” Hydrology, vol. 6, no. 1, 2018, pp. 18-31. Accessed 9 May 2023. Suresh, Samarth, et al. “Analysis of Ground and Surface Water in the Arkavathi River Basin.” International Journal of Research in Engineering, Science and Management, vol. 4, no.

6, 2021, pp. 287-288. Accessed 9 May 2023.

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