Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 185, Issue 6, pp 4705–4719 | Cite as

Impact of anthropogenic activities on water quality of Lidder River in Kashmir Himalayas



The pristine waters of Kashmir Himalaya are showing signs of deterioration due to multiple reasons. This study researches the causes of deteriorating water quality in the Lidder River, one of the main tributaries of Jhelum River in Kashmir Himalaya. The land use and land cover of the Lidder catchment were generated using multi-spectral, bi-seasonal IRS LISS III (October 2005 and May 2006) satellite data to identify the extent of agriculture and horticulture lands that are the main non-point sources of pollution at the catchment scale. A total of 12 water quality parameters were analyzed over a period of 1 year. Water sampling was done at eight different sampling sites, each with a varied topography and distinct land use/land cover, along the length of Lidder River. It was observed that water quality deteriorated during the months of June–August that coincides with the peak tourist flow and maximal agricultural/horticultural activity. Total phosphorus, orthophosphate phosphorus, nitrate nitrogen, and ammoniacal nitrogen showed higher concentration in the months of July and August, while the concentration of dissolved oxygen decreased in the same period, resulting in deterioration in water quality. Moreover, tourism influx in the Lidder Valley shows a drastic increase through the years, and particularly, the number of tourists visiting the valley has increased in the summer months from June to September, which is also responsible for deteriorating the water quality of Lidder River. In addition to this, the extensive use of fertilizers and pesticides in the agriculture and horticulture lands during the growing season (June–August) is also responsible for the deteriorating water quality of Lidder River.


Water quality analysis Remote sensing Land use Land cover Visual image interpretation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of KashmirSrinagarIndia

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