Biomonitoring and Water Quality Evaluation of River Beas in Mid Himalayan Zone, India

Main Article Content

Rajinder Jindal
Chhavi Chawla
Devender Singh*
Amit Shoshta
Sukhmani Kaur


The present investigation was carried out on the Beas River, a major tributary of the Indus riverine system in the Mid Himalayan zone, to evaluate the physico-chemical and microbiological parameters during different seasons. For this, based on altitudinal differences, four observation sites were selected: S1 - Manali (urban land), S2 - Takoli (agricultural land), S3 - Mandi town (urban land) and S4 - Kunn Ka Tarr (forest land), located in the Kullu and Mandi districts of Himachal Pradesh. Lotic ecosystems can undergo rapid changes in their hydrology. Hence, biomonitoring using EPT index (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera) was also carried out at every station. Furthermore, temporal biological components (macroinvertebrates seasonal analysis) were added to the information acquired by traditional physico-chemical analysis. Macroinvertebrates are sensitive organisms and can act as bioindicators of water quality.  The physico-chemical parameters analyzed in the study area were water temperature, pH, turbidity, total alkalinity, TDS, total hardness, chloride, dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, and total coliforms. Species diversity indices such as Simpson, Shannon and Wiener, and Margalef’s diversity index of macroinvertebrates were calculated for all the monitoring sites on the river. There was no homogeneity observed among the stations, and it was concluded that every station had different trends due to different geographic location, altitude, land use in catchment, and most importantly nature of anthropogenic interference. The study also revealed that anthropogenic interferences not only changed the physico-chemical parameters of the river but also disturbed the macroinvertebrate fauna. The EPT index was low at stations (S1 and S3) where anthropogenic impact was relatively high.

Keywords: Beas; biomonitoring; turbidity; hydrobiology; macroinvertebrate; PCA; water quality index

*Corresponding author: Tel.: (+91) 9459166786



Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Original Research Articles


Jindal, R. and Singh, D., 2020. Ecology of Binwa a Western Himalayan hill stream in relation to water quality. Current World Environment, 15(2), 186-193.

Indian Council of Medical Research, 1975. Manual of Standards of Quality for Drinking Water Supplies, Special Report Series No. 44. New Delhi: Indian Council for Medical Research.

Bureau of Indian Standards, 2012. Indian Standards, Drinking Water Specifications, 2nd Revision, IS 10500: 2012. New Delhi: Bureau of Indian Standards.

World Health Organization, 2011. Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality. Geneva: World Health Organization.

Strahler, A.N., 1957. Quantitative analysis of watershed geomorphology. Transactions of American Geophysical Union, 38, 913-920.

American Public Health Association, 1998. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Waste Water. 20th ed. Washington D.C.: American Public Health Association.

Horton, R.K., 1965. An index number system for rating water quality. Journal of the Water Pollution Control Federation, 37, 300-305.

Jindal, R. and Sharma, C., 2011. Studies on water quality of Sutlej river around Ludhiana with reference to physico­chemical parameters. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 174, 417­425.

Merritt, R.W. and Cummins, K.W., 1996. An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America. 3rd ed. Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt.

Thorp, J.H. and Covich, A.P., 2001. Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates. 2nd ed. San Diego: Academic Press.

Subramanian, K.A. and Sivaramakrishnan, K.G., 2007. Aquatic Insects of India-A Field Guide. Bangalore: Ashoka Trust for Ecology and Environment (ATREE).

Shannon, C.E. and Wiener, W., 1949. The Mathematical Theory of Communication. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Simpson, G.H., 1949. Measurement of diversity. Nature, 163, 688,

Batabyal, A.K. and Chakraborty, S., 2015. Hydrogeochemistry and water quality index in assessment of groundwater quality for drinking uses. Water Environment Research, 87(7), 607-617.

Paaijmans, K.P., Takken, W., Githeko, A.K. and Jacobs, A.F.G., 2008. The effect of water turbidity on the near-surface water temperature of larval habitats of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae. International journal of Biometeorology, 52(8), 747-753.

Sharma, S. and Walia, Y.K., 2016. Water quality assessment of river Beas during winter season in Himachal Pradesh, India. Current World Environment, 11(1), 194-203.

Kulshrestha, S.K., Adholia, U.N., Khan, A.A., Bhatnagar, A., Saxena, M. and Baghail, M., 1989. Community structure of planktons and macro zoobenthos, with special reference to pollution in the river Khan (India). International Journal of Environmental Studies, 35(1-2), 83-96.

Jindal, R. and Rumana, H.S., 2000. Biomonitoring of water pollution in Western Yamuna canal at Yamunanagar, Haryana. Journal of Punjab Academy of Sciences, 2(1), 177-182.

Atique, U. and An, K.-G., 2018. Stream health evaluation using a combined approach of multi-metric chemical pollution and biological integrity models. Water, 10(5), 661,

Awasthi, A. and Tamot, P. 2010. Water quality assessment of three tributaries of Beas drainage system in Himachal Pradesh in upper reaches of Himalayan region. Biological Forum-An International Journal, 2(1), 63-66.

Jindal, R., Singh, D. and Chandel, V.C., 2020. Checklist of macroinvertebrates of Binwa a western Himalayan hill stream and their role as bioindicator. Plant Archives, 20(1), 2674-2677.

Sanap, R.R., Mohite, A.K., Pingle, S.D. and Gunale, V.R., 2006. Evaluation of water qualities of Godawari river with reference to physico-chemical parameters, Dist. Nasik (MS), India. Pollution Research, 25(4), 775-780.

Iqbal, F., Ali, M. and Kanwal, N., 2006. Limnological study of river Soan (Punjab), Pakistan. Agricultural Conspectus Scientificus, 71(2), 65-73.

Mohan, M. and Omana, P.K., 2007. Statistical analysis of water quality data from a Ramsar site-Vembanadu backwaters, Southeast coast of India. Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Environmental Sciences, 9(2), 313-320.

Lim, B.R., Huang, X., Hu, H.Y., Goto, N. and Fujie, K., 2001. Effects of temperature on biodegradation characteristics of organic pollutants and microbial community in a solid phase aerobic bioreactor treating high strength organic wastewater. Water Science and Technology, 43(1), 131-137.

Bhargava, D.S., 1983. Most rapid BOD assimilation in Ganga and Yamuna rivers. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 109(1), 174-188.

Avvannavar, S.M. and Shrihari, S., 2008. Evaluation of water quality index for drinking purposes for river Netravathi, Mangalore, South India. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 143(1-3), 279-290.

North Carolina Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources, 1997. Standard Operating Procedures for Biological Monitoring. Carolina: Environmental Sciences Branch Biological Assessment Group, Division of Water, Water Quality Section, North Carolina Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources.

Alvisha, E., Lyon, S.W. and Lindborg, R., 2019. Assessment of water quality across irrigation schemes: A case study of wetland agriculture impacts in Kilombero valley, Tanzania. Water, 11, 1-22.

Hamid, A., Bhat, S.U. and Jehangir, A. 2020. Local determinants influencing stream water quality. Applied Water Science, 10(24), 1-16.

Central Pollution Control Board, 2019. Water Quality Criteria. [online] Available at: