Mass Tourism and Water Quality in Lidder Valley, Kashmir
Environ Monit AssessDOI 10.1007/s10661-012-2898-0Impact of anthropogenic activities on water quality of LidderRiver in Kashmir HimalayasIrfan Rashid & Shakil Ahmad RomshooReceived: 31 March 2012 / Accepted: 12 September 2012# Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012Abstract The pristine waters of Kashmir Himalaya are particularly, the number of tourists visiting the valleyshowing signs of deterioration due to multiple reasons. has increased in the summer months from June toThis study researches the causes of deteriorating water September, which is also responsible for deterioratingquality in the Lidder River, one of the main tributaries of the water quality of Lidder River. In addition to this, theJhelum River in Kashmir Himalaya. The land use and extensive use of fertilizers and pesticides in the agricul-land cover of the Lidder catchment were generated ture and horticulture lands during the growing seasonusing multi-spectral, bi-seasonal IRS LISS III (October (June–August) is also responsible for the deteriorating2005 and May 2006) satellite data to identify the extent water quality of Lidder River.of agriculture and horticulture lands that are the mainnon-point sources of pollution at the catchment scale. A Keywords Water quality analysis . Remote sensing .total of 12 water quality parameters were analyzed over Land use . Land cover . Visual image interpretationa period of 1 year. Water sampling was done at eightdifferent sampling sites, each with a varied topographyand distinct land use/land cover, along the length of IntroductionLidder River. It was observed that water quality deteri-orated during the months of June–August that coincides The rivers are a refuge to many plant and animalwith the peak tourist flow and maximal agricultural/ species besides harboring precious resources of freshhorticultural activity. Total phosphorus, orthophosphate water. Unfortunately, rivers have long been used andphosphorus, nitrate nitrogen, and ammoniacal nitrogen abused for the disposal of wastes. Although the riversshowed higher concentration in the months of July and have the capacity of self-purification, this capacity isAugust, while the concentration of dissolved oxygen altered because of anthropogenic activities in the riverdecreased in the same period, resulting in deterioration catchment, leading to the destruction of this importantin water quality. Moreover, tourism influx in the Lidder ecosystem. Humans now strongly influence almostValley shows a drastic increase through the years, and every major aquatic ecosystem, and their activities have dramatically altered the fluxes of growth- limiting nutrients from the landscape to receiving waters. Unfortunately, these nutrient inputs have hadI. Rashid : S. A. Romshoo (*) profound negative effects upon the quality of surfaceDepartment of Earth Sciences, University of Kashmir, waters worldwide (Smith 2003). Surface waters areHazratbal,Srinagar, Kashmir 190006, India most exposable to pollution due to their accessibilitye-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for disposal of wastewaters (Samarghandi et al. 2007).
Environ Monit AssessBoth the anthropogenic influences such as urban, in- Khadka and Khannal 2008; Mtethiwa et al. 2008;dustrial, and agricultural activities increasing exploita- Twesigye et al. 2011). Studies have established that landtion of water resources as well as natural processes, use activity significantly influences nutrient loadingssuch as precipitation inputs, erosion, and weathering and discharges (Dillon and Kirchner 1975; Hill 1978;of crustal materials, degrade surface waters and dam- Beaulac and Reckhow 1982; Lowrance et al. 1984;age their use for drinking, recreational, and other Correll et al. 1992; Romshoo and Muslim 2011) or havepurposes (Jarvie et al. 1998; Simeonov et al. 2003; shown that agricultural catchments discharge higherMahvi et al. 2005; Nouri et al. 2008; Karbassi et al. amounts of nutrients than forested catchments.2008a, b). Yadav and Kumar (2011) monitored the Nutrient export from pasture and grazing is not signifi-water quality of Kosi River in India and concluded cantly different than the export from forestland usethat industrialization, urbanization, and modern agri- (Beaulac and Reckhow 1982), but discharges of nitro-culture practices have direct impact on deteriorating gen and phosphorus significantly increased as the per-water quality. cent of cropland increased (Correll et al. 1992). Seasonal variation in precipitation, surface runoff, Hill et al. (1978) found that both annual loss andinterflow, ground water flow, and pumped in and out- mean annual concentrations of nitrate are correlatedflows have a strong effect on river discharge and with land use activity. Seasonal and long-term varia-subsequently on concentration of pollutants in the river tions in nutrient export appeared to be important fac-water (Vega et al. 1998; Monavari and Guieysse 2007; tors (Hill et al. 1978; Correll et al. 1992). CatchmentFig. 1 Location of the study area
Environ Monit AssessTable 1 (continued)Parameters Month S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 AverageTotal phosphorus (μgL−1) April 38 46 72 52 76 68 78 84 64.25 July 52 70 72 62 84 106 108 116 83.75 August 54 72 78 70 86 110 112 128 88.75 October 36 44 52 38 54 66 70 82 55.25characteristics such as drainage density, channel slope, threat to the rich water resource of Lidder is theand basin relief ratio are also significantly positively seasonal inflow of Amarnath pilgrims during the pe-correlated with discharge and nutrient loss (Hill et al. riod from June to August. Thus, the main impact of1978). Land cover change plays a pivotal role in regional undesirable human activities is responsible for accel-social and economic development and global environ- erated flow of nutrients from terrestrial to aquaticmental changes (Xiuwan 2002). A number of research portion of the catchment. In this context, the presentworks have been carried out by using various methodol- study was undertaken.ogies and algorithms to derive land cover and changeinformation from different sets of remotely sensed data(Singh 1986, 1989; Tateishi and Kajiwara 1991; Study areaLichtenegger 1992; Muchoney and Haack 1994;Wismann 1994; Lambin 1996; Sailor et al. 1997; The study area is Lidder valley (Fig. 1) which lies toRomshoo 2003; Romshoo et al. 2011). Although tourism the North of Anantnag district (Jammu and Kashmir,plays a vital role in generating both national and local India) in the central Himalayan mountain range withrevenue, it has an adverse effect on the environment the geographical coordinates of 33°4′–34°15′ N lati-(Pandey et al. 1995). The significance of ecological tude and 75°05′–75°32′ E longitude. The valley isimpacts from tourism and recreation has been recognized 50 km long and has a varied topography with thewidely by protected area management agencies and altitudinal extremes of 1,600–5,200 m. The most im-researchers (Buckley 2001, 2002; Leung and Marion portant settlement in the Lidder valley is the town of2000; Newsome et al. 2002; Sirakaya et al. 2001). Pahalgam with a lot of hotels and restaurants. During recent years, rapid increase in the popula- Pahalgam is an important tourist destination and alsotion has resulted in the establishment of new settle- gateway to many treks including the one to the holyments in the catchment of Lidder River. Humans in the cave of Amarnath—sacred to Hindus.process began to degrade the environment, particularly Lidder River, one of the important right bankthe aquatic ecosystem, by deforestation and denuda- tributaries of river Jhelum, is formed by two mountaintion of drainage basin. Also, vast forest areas were torrents which flow from North–East and North–West.converted to agriculture and pastures degraded be- The eastern stream trickles from the snow on thecause of overgrazing by the cattle. Population density southern slopes of Panjtarni Mountains and flows intoalso exerts an important influence on nutrient concen- oligotrophic Sheshnag Lake. Leaving the Sheshnag,trations in river systems (Caraco and Cole 1999). the stream flows in a westerly direction, joining thePredominantly urban catchments generally have in- western branch at Pahalgam. The western branch hascreasing nutrient loading rates with an increasing per- its origin from Kolhai Mountains and is joined by thecentage of impervious land area (Beaulac and stream flowing from Tarsar and Chandasar lakes.Reckhow 1982). This is attributable to the fact that After the confluence of the two streams at Pahalgam,hydraulic characteristics and land activities are influ- the river flows in southerly direction. In its passageential factors in nutrient loading rates in urban land use through the lower part of the valley, the river separatesareas. Currently, one of the visible problems with the into numerous channels in the vicinity of twin townsLidder waters is high pollution load contributed by of Anantnag and Bijbehara. Lidder joins river Jhelumdomestic, agricultural, and tourism sectors. One more at Gur after traveling a course of 70 km approximately.
Environ Monit Assess The climate of the area is subhumid temperate. The Materials and methodsmajor portion of rainfall is received from March to May,and the period from November to February receives Water quality analysisheavy snowfall. The geology of the area is mainly com-posed of Silurian Shale, Panjal Traps, Muth Quartizite, Eight water sampling sites were taken along the lengthSyringothris Limestone, Fenestella Shale, Quartzite, and of the river for physicochemical analysis (Fig. 1).Agglomeratic Slate (Middlemiss 1910; Bions and Before collecting the water samples, all the sampleMiddlemiss 1928), ranging in age from Devonian to bottles were washed with Laboline and rinsed withUpper Permian (Wadia 1976). A major fault roughly distilled water. Water sampling was done during morn-trending NNE–SSW has brought Fenestella Quartzite ing hours from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon. The samplesin juxtaposition with Agglomeratic Slate (Kaul 1976). were collected in airtight glass jars of 3-l capacity. Lidder River serves as a drinking water source to a Separate samples were collected in 250-ml glass bot-huge population lying in its catchment. Besides, tles for the estimation of dissolved oxygen (DO). AllLidder River is important for agriculture as it serves the samples were transported to the laboratory foras a source of irrigation for the same. The river also refrigeration and were analyzed within 48 h. Twelveharbors rich resource of fisheries particularly brown physicochemical parameters were analyzed in thetrout. Hence, the river is socioeconomically important present study which includes pH, electric conductivity,for the population in its catchment. dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen demand, totalFig. 2 Land use land cover map of Lidder River catchment
Environ Monit Assesschlorides, total solids, total suspended solids, total water quality results in order to assess the impact ofdissolved solids, ammoniacal nitrogen, nitrate nitro- tourism on water quality.gen, total phosphorus, and orthophosphate phospho-rus. Analysis was done for all the four seasons viz, Land use land cover mappingspring, summer, autumn, and winter in 2007. Analysisof physicochemical parameters was done priority- Bi-seasonal satellite data IRS-P6-LISS-III pertaining towise. pH, conductivity, DO, nitrates, and phosphates October 2005 and May 2006 were used to map landwere determined immediately followed by others. The cover types in Lidder catchment. IRS-P6-LISS-III withphysicochemical parameters were analyzed as per as spatial resolution of 23.5 m, Path/Row 92/46 (19standard methods (APHA and AWWA 1999). October 2005), 92/47 (19 October 2005), 93/46 (24Dissolved oxygen was estimated by modified October 2005), 92/46 (26 May 2006), 92/47 (23 MayWinkler’s method, total chlorides by argentometric 2006), and 93/46 (29 April 2006) were used. LISS IIImethod (Mackerath et. al. 1978), ammoniacal nitrogen operates in four bands: green band with a wavelengthand nitrate nitrogen by salicylate method (CSIR ranging from 0.52 to 0.59 μm, red band with a wave-1974), and total phosphorus and orthophosphate phos- length ranging from 0.62 to 0.68 μm, near infrared bandphorus by Stannous Chloride method (APHA 1999). with a wavelength ranging from 0.77 to 0.86 μm, and short-wave infrared with a wavelength ranging fromTourism data 1.55 to 1.70 μm. Land use land cover mapping was done as per the standards laid by NNRMS (AnonymousThe environmental impact of tourism is assessed pri- 2005). For delineating land use land cover satellite datamarily through the physicochemical analysis of water were processed. Processing of satellite data involvedquality because it is an excellent indicator of human georectification, georeferencing, co-registration, anduse of the ecosystem. Monthly tourism data from 1997 mosaicing appropriate scenes of the study area.to 2011 were acquired from Jammu and Kashmir Onscreen image interpretation technique was thenTourism Department to analyze the seasonal variation employed for differentiating Land Use Land Coverin tourist flow. Also, data pertaining to pilgrims visit- (LULC) after using various image-processing techni-ing holy Amarnath cave annually from 1979–2009 ques like image enhancement, filtering, etc. to enhancewere acquired. Tourism data were correlated with the interpretability of the LULC classes.Table 2 Recent tourist inflowinto Lidder valley Year Non-pilgrim tourists Total no. of tourists Domestic Foreign Local Pilgrim tourists 1997 6,340 291 5,396 79,035 91,062 1998 8,340 365 6,396 149,000 164,101 1999 58,162 673 36,322 114,000 209,157 2000 58,775 679 31,376 173,334 262,164 2001 49,744 650 29,205 119,037 198,636 2002 11,468 378 27,533 110,793 150,172 2003 60,249 1,301 375,263 153,314 590,127 2004 158,549 3,715 251,513 400,000 813,777 2005 273,121 3,899 440,649 388,000 1,105,669 2006 254,590 2,975 444,604 265,000 967,169 2007 149,413 2,094 341,966 213,565 707,038 2008 131,422 2,131 163,898 498,198 795,649 2009 130,675 2,106 451,546 373,419 957,746 2010 159,860 2,218 63,242 458,212 683,532 2011 277,731 4,918 422,712 635,000 1,350,361
Environ Monit AssessResults and discussion as salts of sodium, potassium, and calcium. Chlorides are leached from various rocks into soil and water byWater quality weathering. The chloride ion is highly mobile and is transported to closed basins (WHO 1996). The con-The results of water quality analysis are summarized centration of total chlorides increased downstreamin Table 1. Water was alkaline with pH value ranging which can be attributed to the waste inflow in the formfrom 7.1 to 8.43. Gradual increase in pH from site I to of domestic sewage.site VIII is related to increasing pollution pressure Dissolved oxygen showed inverse relationship withresulting because of tourist and agricultural activities temperature, which is in agreement with Henry’s Lawin the catchment of Lidder. (IUPAC 1997). The maximum concentration of dis- Total chloride concentration ranged from 16 to solved oxygen was recorded in the spring season and44 mgL−1. Chlorides are widely distributed in nature late autumn. Difference of nearly 2 mgL−1 betweenFig. 3 a Total number oftourists visiting Lidder val-ley from 1997 to 2011. bNumber of pilgrim tourists(Yatris) visiting Lidder val-ley from 1980 to 2011
Environ Monit Assessupstream and downstream stations was observed in rus, and orthophosphate phosphorus showed almost asome months, which is an indicator of heavy organic similar trend as that of nitrates. Phosphorus contami-pollution in the lower reaches owing to flushing of nation is attributed to high anthropogenic pressuresewage directly into Lidder River by nearby settlements. (sites 6, 7, and 8) and presence of Silurian shale in TDS was maximum during summer months which the catchment of Lidder River (Middlemiss 1910).can be attributed to accelerated snowmelt, increasingrunoff, rainfall in the catchment of Lidder, grazing, Tourist data analysisand tourist activities. Hence, the river downstream isaffected by silt-impregnated waters derived from its Time series of the tourist data from 1997 to 2011 wascatchment. analyzed (Table 2) to investigate if there is any link Calcium was the dominant cation at all stations between the deteriorating water quality and number ofbecause of the presence of calcium-rich rocks tourist arrivals in Pahalgam. We also analyzed the(limestone) in the catchment of Lidder (Bions and number of pilgrim tourists visiting holy AmarnathMiddlemiss 1928). The concentration increased from cave from 1980 to 2011 (Fig. 3). Both the data showedstation I to station VIII. A similar behavior was shown an increasing trend across the years as is reflected byby magnesium whose concentration increased down- r2 values of 0.728 and 0.683, respectively. In thestream. The only source of magnesium is dolomite in 1990s, tourist inflow into the Lidder Valley was verythe catchment of Lidder River. little owing to the turmoil in the region. Since 2003, Nitrate nitrogen increased significantly down- the situation improved, and there has been an expo-stream, which is related to the entry of nitrogenous nential surge in the number of tourists visiting Lidderwastes from tourist activities (bathing and defecating Valley (Fig. 3). Year 2011 saw more than 13.5 lakhon the river banks) and agricultural activities. tourists visiting Lidder valley, the highest numberAgricultural activities are predominant in plains of recorded till date, while the lowest number has beenLidder valley (Fig. 2) which include Aishmuqam (site recorded in 1997. Similarly, 2011 saw 635,000 pilgrim7), Mattan (site 8), and Bijbehara. The exceptionally tourists (highest) visiting Amarnath cave, while as thehigh nitrate concentration downstream can be attribut- pilgrim data show, a decrease in the 1980s and 1990s.ed to the use of large quantities of nitrogenous fertil- The ever increasing tourist inflow into Lidder valleyizers in its catchment which ultimately find their way has serious ecological consequences especially pollut-in Lidder River. Ammoniacal nitrogen, total phospho- ing the pristine waters of the Lidder River.Table 3 Time series of total monthly tourists visiting Lidder valley from 1997 to 2008 (excluding pilgrim tourists)Year 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009MonthJanuary 78 97 618 586 514 254 2,819 2,670 4,631 4,531 4,997 1,919 3,770February 53 67 425 404 334 175 1,941 1,839 3,179 3,120 3,441 1,322 2,596March 45 56 357 338 296 147 1,627 1,541 2,674 2,616 2,885 1,108 2,177April 247 311 1,970 1,868 1,629 810 8,985 8,511 14,744 14,444 15,930 6,119 12,020May 811 1,019 6,461 6,129 5,365 2,657 29,474 27,920 48,419 47,379 52,255 20,071 39,428June 4,529 5,687 36,064 34,208 30,001 14,831 164,511 155,835 270,304 264,448 230,731 112,025 220,067July 4,466 5,607 35,558 33,728 29,580 14,623 162,203 153,649 266,512 260,738 75,146 110,453 216,979August 1,271 1,595 10,114 9,594 8,414 4,159 46,139 43,706 75,810 74,168 74,200 31,419 61,720September 268 335 2,126 2,017 1,759 874 9,698 9,186 15,934 15,589 17,193 6,604 12,973October 49 62 394 374 318 162 1,799 1,704 2,945 2,891 3,189 1,225 2,406November 133 166 1,056 1,001 878 434 4,815 4,561 7,912 7,740 8,537 3,279 6,441December 77 97 614 583 511 253 2,803 2,655 4,605 4,505 4,969 1,909 3,749Total 12,027 15,101 95,757 90,830 79,599 39,379 436,813 413,777 717,669 702,169 493,473 297,451 584,327
Environ Monit Assess As per analysis done by the Centre of Research for the main river front, thus exposing the water body to aDevelopment (CORD) in 2011, about 2,682 metric high risk of contamination. There are also many areastons of solid wastes were generated comprising in and around Pahalgam town without any solid waste975 metric tons from hotels and 1,707 metric tons collection/disposal mechanism. The huge quantityfrom tourists. From June to August 2011, about of garbage, in dispersed form, is being disposed83 % (2,231 metric tons) of total annual solid wastes off around these areas and finally finds its waywere generated with an average generation of about into Lidder River. The pilgrimage tourist base24.77 metric tons/day. The per capita generation of camps at Nunwan, Zagipal, Chandanwari, andsolid waste is about 2.40 kg/day. In absence of any Sheshnag are not adequately equipped to suffi-proper waste disposal mechanism or facility, it has ciently deal with the scientific disposal of solidbeen observed that a considerable number of hotels wastes during the pilgrimage period. Considerabledump their wastes openly in the forest area and along quantities of solid waste from these camps, mainTable 4 Correlation between average of water quality parameters and tourist arrival in Lidder vale (ρ is correlation coefficient)Parameters Number of tourists ρ Parameters Number of tourists ρpH Conductivity (μScm−1)April 7.48 15,930 April 110.00 15,930July 7.59 287,569 July 121.38 287,569August 7.70 81,800 August 126.00 81,800October 7.33 3,189 0.50 October 106.25 3,189 0.62Total chloride (mgL−1) DO (mgL−1)April 22.25 15,930 April 9.80 15,930July 35.25 287,569 July 8.03 287,569August 35.25 81,800 August 7.30 81,800October 21.50 3,189 0.77 October 11.28 3,189 −0.62BOD (mgL−1) Total solids (mgL−1)April 12.50 15,930 April 2.51 15,930July 12.75 287,569 July 2.65 287,569August 14.15 81,800 August 2.67 81,800October 9.20 3,189 0.40 October 2.13 3,189 0.61TDS (mgL−1) TSS (mgL−1)April 1.67 15,930 April 0.84 15,930July 1.69 287,569 July 0.95 287,569August 1.62 81,800 August 1.03 81,800October 1.37 3,189 0.58 October 0.76 3,189 0.56NO3−–N (μgL−1) NH4+–N (μgL−1)April 209.25 15,930 April 131.75 15,930July 217.13 287,569 July 139.13 287,569August 274.25 81,800 August 170.13 81,800October 179.63 3,189 0.21 October 111.50 3,189 0.28OPP (μgL−1) TP (μgL−1)April 37.25 15,930 April 64.25 15,930July 49.50 287,569 July 83.75 287,569August 53.25 81,800 August 88.75 81,800October 32.00 3,189 0.65 October 55.25 3,189 0.67
Environ Monit AssessFig. 4 Scatter diagram showing correlation between seasonal average of water quality parameters and tourist arrival in Lidder valleytownship of Pahalgam from locals and other tou- reckless tourist activities play a significant role in therists, and trail garbage all along the pilgrimage alteration of water quality of Lidder. The highest valueroute to Amarnath cave finally find their disposal of correlation coefficient was shown by chloridesin the main water body of Lidder River. (0.77) followed by orthophosphate phosphorus Monthly tourism data from 1997–2009 (Table 3) (0.65), while a negative correlation was shown bywere correlated (Pearson and Lee 1896) with seasonal dissolved oxygen (ρ0−0.62).variation in water quality parameters. Correlation be- Hence, accelerated flow of tourists from June totween tourism influx into the Lidder Valley and sea- August causes deterioration in water quality ofsonal variation in water quality showed a positive Lidder River. Due to the increase in the tourist inflow,trend for all the water quality parameters except dis- there has been a significant impact on deterioratingsolved oxygen (Table 4, Fig. 4), suggesting that water quality of Lidder River. This is evidenced from
Environ Monit Assessthe past data (Bhat and Yousuf 2003). Water quality extents. Land use has a considerable role in affectingparameters especially dissolved oxygen, ammoniacal water quality of streams (Horner et al. 1996). If catch-nitrogen, and total phosphorus are showing a change ment is covered with impervious surfaces, such asin their concentration when we compare 2003 WQ roads and parking facilities, the water quality ofdata with the 2007 observed data (Table 5). streams is seriously degraded. Agriculture as a non-Dissolved oxygen showed a slight decrease by point pollution source greatly affects water quality of0.07 mgL−1, while ammoniacal nitrogen and total streams due to use of pesticides and fertilizers whichphosphorus showed a significant increase by 120.7 after degradation find their way into the streams di-and 51.75 μgL−1, respectively. This could be attribut- rectly causing enrichment in the concentration of ni-ed to the increased tourist flow over the years (Fig. 3) trogen and phosphorus compounds, thereby affectingin addition to the extensive agricultural and horticul- the biota of stream (Botkin and Keller 2009). Peopletural practices employed by the people in the living in the catchment of Lidder are shifting their landcatchment. use from agriculture to orchards owing to the decrease in discharge of Lidder due to changing climate.Land use land cover Moreover, apple orchards are economically more viable as compared to agriculture. The spatial extent of agri-Knowledge of land use and land cover is important for culture has decreased from 120.27 km2 (Zaz andmany planning and management activities and is con- Romshoo 2008) in 1972 to 108.58 km2 in 2006. Thesidered an essential element for understanding the area under orchards was 17.65 km2 in 1972 (Zaz andearth system (Lillesand et al. 2004). Using on-screen Romshoo 2008), while it is 73.03 km2 as of 2006digitization, 13 land use land cover classes were de- showing more than a fourfold increase during the pastlineated (Fig. 2, Table 6) based on shape, size, pattern, 34 years. A zoomed-in view showing change in land usetone, texture, and association (Oslon 1960). These from agriculture to orchards in Lidder valley from 1992include bare rock, barren land, coniferous forest, crop- to 2005 can be seen in Fig. 5. Though the area underland, degraded forest, grassland, orchards, perennial agriculture has reduced considerably, the increased usesnow, plantation, scrub, settlements, water body, and of fertilizers over the years has led to the deterioration inwetland. This was followed by extensive ground ver- the water quality of Lidder especially in the lower plainsification where a total of 202 ground samples weretaken. The overall accuracy of the delineated LULCmap was 93.56 % (Table 7), modified after incorpo- Table 6 Land use land cover statistics of Lidder Valleyrating necessary field information. Coniferous forest Class name Area (km2) % age(20.45 %) was the most dominant land cover typefollowed by scrub (15.33 %), perennial snow Bare rock 110.86 8.90(14.43 %), degraded forest (12.65 %), bare rock Barren land 67.39 5.41(8.9 %), and cropland (8.74 %), while wetland Coniferous forest 254.81 20.45(0.16 %) was the least dominant class as per the spatial Cropland 108.86 8.74 Degraded forest 157.56 12.65 Grassland 43.77 3.51Table 5 Change in physicochemical characteristics of waterfrom 2003 to 2007 Orchards 73.03 5.86 Plantation 32.17 2.58Year 2003a 2007 Change Perennial snow 179.72 14.43Parameter Scrub 190.94 15.33Dissolved oxygen (mgL−1) 9.17 9.1 -0.07 Settlements 7.13 0.57Ammoniacal nitrogen (μgL−1) 17.42 138.13 +120.71 Water body 17.50 1.40 −1Total phosphorus (μgL ) 21.25 73 +51.75 Wetland 1.98 0.16a Total area 1,245.73 100.00 Bhat and Yousuf 2003
Environ Monit AssessTable 7 Accuracy assessment of land use/land coverReference data BR BL CL CF FP GL OF OR PS SF SE WA WE Row totalClassification dataBR 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8BL 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 6CF 0 0 44 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 47CL 0 0 0 23 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 24FP 0 0 0 0 13 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 14GL 0 0 1 0 0 19 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 21OF 1 0 0 0 0 0 12 0 0 1 0 0 0 14OR 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 12 0 0 0 0 0 13PS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 6SF 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 27 0 0 0 28SE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0 0 8WA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 6WE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 7Column Total 8 6 45 24 14 19 15 13 6 31 8 6 7 202Producer’s accuracy User’s accuracyBR0(7/8)×100087.50 % BR0(7/8)×100087.50 %BL0(5/6)×100083.33 % BL0(5/6)×100083.33 %CF0(44/45)×100097.77 % CF0(44/47)×100093.62 %CL0(23/24)×100095.83 % CL0(23/24)×100095.83 %FP0(13/14)×100092.86 % FP0(13/14)×100092.86 %GL0(19/19)×1000100.00 % GL0(19/21)×100090.48 %OF0(12/15)×100080.00 % OF0(12/14)×100085.71 %OR0(12/13)×100092.31 % OR0(12/13)×100092.31 %PS0(6/6)×1000100.00 % PS0(6/6)×1000100.00 %SF0(27/31)×100087.1 % SF0(27/28)×100096.43 %SE0(8/8)×1000100.00 % SE0(8/8)×1000100.00 %WA0(6/6)×1000100.00 % WA0(6/6)×1000100.00 %WE0(7/7)×1000100.00 % WE0(7/7)×1000100.00 %Overall accuracy0[(7+5+44+23+13+19+12+12+6+27+8+6+7)/202]×100093.56 %BR bare rock, BL barren land, CF coniferous forest, CL cropland, FP forest plantation, GL grassland, OF open forest, OR orchards, PSperennial snow, SF-scrub forest, SE settlements, WA water body, WE wetlandof the catchment. During the period from 1980 to 1981, impact on the deteriorating water quality of Lidder24.14 kg/ha of fertilizers were used (Anonymous 2008). waters in the low lying areas of the catchment espe-Over the course of time, people started to extensively cially around site 7 (Aishmuqam) and site 8 (Mattan)use fertilizers to increase the crop productivity, and the where land use is dominated by agriculture. In manyapplication of fertilizers increased 44.21 kg/ha in 2002– areas of the Kashmir valley, economic factors and2003. An all-time high rate of fertilizer application of decreasing stream flows are the driving forces for the97.03 kg/ha was used for 2007–2008 (Anonymous change of land use from water-intensive agriculture2008). The excessive use of fertilizers has a significant to orchards.
Environ Monit AssessFig. 5 Land use change from agriculture to orchards in Lidder valley from 1992 to 2005Conclusion phosphorus, and BOD from April to August. Due to the increase of these nutrients, the ecology of the river isVarious land use practices in the catchment of Lidder changing and adversely affecting the distribution ofRiver that has tremendous ecological and socioeco- aquatic flora and fauna therein. The direct discharge ofnomic importance depict the way we are treating our the effluents and sewage from the surrounding areas intofresh water ecosystems. From the analysis and discus- the Lidder River has increased the nutrient loading in thesion of the results, it is concluded that the main rea- Lidder River. As a result of nutrient enrichment, a drop insons for the deterioration of the water quality of Lidder the oxygen content has been observed which has directRiver are increase in the nutrient and silt load from the bearing on abundance of aquatic fauna (like fishescatchment due to reckless use of pesticides and fertil- especially trout).izers, encroachment, and unplanned urbanization in the The waters of Lidder are simultaneously subjectedvicinity of the river. This fact has been substantiated by to multiple and competing uses. This serves domestic,the physicochemical characteristics of the river. The agriculture, irrigation, and other commercial sectorsphysicochemical analysis shows an increase of most of (including hotels at Pahalgam) sectors, which have athe water quality parameters particularly nitrate nitrogen, direct bearing on the water quality of Lidder River. Itammoniacal nitrogen, total phosphorus, orthophosphate is inferred from the study that pollution load increased
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