ENVIS Technical Report: 25



T. V. Ramachandra     and     Malvikaa Solanki

ENVIS Technical Report: 25
January 2007

Environmental Information System [ENVIS]
Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore - 560012, INDIA
Web:  http://ces.iisc.ernet.in/energy/,   http://ces.iisc.ernet.in/biodiversity
Email: cestvr@ces.iisc.ernet.in, energy@ces.iisc.ernet.in

Financial Assistance: The Ministry of Science and Technology Government of India

Citation : Ramachandra T.V. and Malvikaa Solanki, 2007. Ecological assessment of Lentic Waterbodies of Bangalore, ENVIS Technical Report 25, Environmental Information System, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Bangalore.


The restoration, conservation and management of water resources require a thorough understanding of what constitutes a healthy ecosystem. Monitoring and assessment provides the basic information on the condition of our waterbodies. The present work details the study carried out at two waterbodies, namely, the Chamarajasagar reservoir and the Madiwala Lake. The waterbodies were selected on the basis of their current use and locations. Chamarajasagar reservoir serves the purpose of supplying drinking water to Bangalore city and is located on the outskirts of the city surrounded by agricultural and forest land. On the other hand, Madiwala lake is situated in the heart of Bangalore city receiving an influx of pollutants from domestic and industrial sewage. Comparative assessment of the surface water quality of both were carried out by instituting the various physico–chemical and biological parameters. The physico-chemical analyses included temperature, transparency, pH, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen, alkalinity, total hardness, calcium hardness, magnesium hardness, nitrates, phosphates, sodium, potassium and COD measurements of the given waterbody. The analysis was done based on the standard methods prescribed (or recommended) by (APHA) and NEERI. The biological parameter included phytoplankton analysis.

The detailed investigations of the parameters, which are well within the tolerance limits in Chamarajasagar reservoir, indicate that it is fairly unpolluted, except for the pH values, which indicate greater alkalinity. This may be attributed to the natural causes and the agricultural runoff from the catchment. On the contrary, the limnology of Madiwala lake is greatly influenced by the inflow of sewage that contributes significantly to the dissolved solids of the lake water, total hardness, alkalinity and a low DO level. Although, the two study areas differ in age, physiography, chemistry and type of inflows, they still maintain a phytoplankton distribution overwhelmingly dominated by Cyanophyceae members, specifically Microcystis aeruginosa. These blue green algae apparently enter the waterbodies from soil, which are known to harbour a rich diversity of blue green flora with several species common to limnoplankton, a feature reported to be unique to the south Indian lakes.

Chamarajasagar water samples revealed five classes of phytoplankton, of which Cyanophyceae (92.15 percent) that dominated other algal forms comprised of one single species of Microcystis aeruginosa. The next major class of algae was Chlorophyceae (3.75 percent) followed by Dinophyceae (3.51 percent),  Bacillariophyceae (0.47 percent) and a sparsely available and unidentified class (0.12 percent).

Madiwala Lake phytoplankton, in addition to Cyanophyceae (26.20 percent), revealed a high density of Chlorophyceae members (73.44 percent) dominated by Scenedesmus sp.,  Pediastrum sp., and Euglena sp.,which are considered to be indicators of organic pollution. The domestic and industrial sewage, which finds its way into the lake, is a factor causing organic pollution. As compared to the other classes, Euglenophyceae and Bacillariophyceae members were the lowest in number.

Thus, the analysis of various parameters indicates that Chamarajasagar reservoir is relatively unpolluted except for the high percentage of Microcystis aeruginosa, and a slightly alkaline nature of water.Madiwala lake samples revealed eutrophication and high levels of pollution, which is clarified by the physico–chemical analysis, whose values are way above the tolerance limits. Also, the phytoplankton analysis in Madiwala lake reveals the dominance of Chlorophyceae members, which indicate organic pollution (sewage being the causative factor).

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