The Wetland Book pp 1293-1299 | Cite as

East Kolkata Wetlands and the Regulation of Water Quality

  • Ritesh Kumar
Reference work entry


The East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW), located on the eastern fringes of Kolkata City, India, are a large network of fish farms with their water supply coming from sewage effluents of Kolkata City. The EKW are spread over an area of 12,500 ha and form a part of the extensive delta of the River Ganges. The wetlands sustain the world’s largest and oldest integrated resource recovery practice based on a combination of agriculture and aquaculture and have been estimated to provide livelihood support to a large, economically underprivileged population of in excess of 20,000 families. The wetland is a mosaic of landforms including predominantly water-dominated areas (fish farms) to terrestrial usages for agriculture and horticulture. Settlements are interspersed between various land uses. The use of sewage as the basis of aquaculture, agriculture, and horticulture production systems provides the rationale for considering the entire system as a single management unit, also referred as Waste Recycling Region (WRR). Based on the significant ecological and sociocultural importance of the site in 2003, the Government of India declared East Kolkata Wetlands as a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar Site) under the Ramsar Convention.


Fish farms Sewage effluent Kolkata Integrated resource recovery Livelihoods Waste Recycling Region Ramsar Site 


  1. Amann RI, Ludwig W, Schleifer KH. Phylogenetic identification and in situ detection of individual microbial cells without cultivation. Microbiol Rev. 1995;59(1):143–69.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Bunting SW. Confronting the realities of wastewater aquaculture in peri-urban Kolkata with bioeconomic modelling. Water Res. 2007;41(2):499–505.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Edwards P. Environmental issues in integrated agriculture-aquaculture and wastewater-fed fish culture systems. In: Environment and aquaculture in developing countries, vol. 31. Manila: International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management; 1993. p. 139–70.Google Scholar
  4. Kumar B, Senthil Kumar K, Priya M, Mukhopadhyay D, Shah R. Distribution, partitioning, bioaccumulation of trace elements in water, sediment and fish from sewage fed fish ponds in eastern Kolkata, India. Toxicol Environ Chem. 2010;92(2):243–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Kundu N, Pal M, Saha S. East Kolkata Wetlands: a resource recovery system through productive activities. In: Proceedings of taal2007: The 12th World Lake Conference, vol. 868. 2008. p. 881.Google Scholar
  6. Little DC, Kundu N, Mukherjee M, Barman BK. Marketing of fish in peri-urban Kolkata. Stirling: University of Stirling; 2002. 19pp.Google Scholar
  7. Mara D. Design manual for waste stabilization ponds in India. Leeds: Lagoon Technology International; 1997. 125pp.Google Scholar
  8. Pradhan A, Bhaumik P, Das S, Mishra M, Khanam S, Hoque BA, et al. Phytoplankton diversity as indicator of water quality for fish cultivation. Am J Environ Sci. 2008;4(4):406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Raychaudhuri S, Mishra M, Nandy P, Thakur AR. Waste management: a case study of ongoing traditional practices at East Calcutta wetland. Am J Agric Biol Sci. 2008;3(1):315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Wetlands International. Management plan for East Kolkata wetlands: executive summary. New Delhi: Wetlands International-South Asia; 2008. 11pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wetlands International South AsiaNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations