Reservoir’s Impact on the Water Chemistry of the Teesta River Mountain Course (Darjeeling Himalaya)

Abstract

The article presents the role of the newly built reservoir in the formation of the hydrochemistry of water of the Teesta River (a tributary of the Brahmaputra) in its Himalayan course. Field research were performed in the post-monsoon season of the period 2013-2015. Sampling and measuring points were located in five points over 43 km of the Teesta River in the Darjeeling Himalaya. Analysis of water along of river longitudinal profile above and below the reservoir suggest that the reservoir caused decrease most of the basic ions concentrations (Cl, K+, Na+, Mg2+, NO3 and PO43−). An inverse trend was observed only with respect to Ca2+, SO42− and NH4+. The dam does not influent on the F concentration. The reservoir causes minor enrichment most of the heavy metals such Cu, Ni, Zn, Cr, Cd and Sr. The lower enrichment of Teesta water below the dam indicates the water self-purification processes for metals by the Teesta Reservoir. The changes of physicochemical properties and concentrations of ions caused by the reservoir are usually normalised by environmental factors before the Teesta River outlet from the Himalayas (within 15 km of the river).

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