Amba River

80 km

In-situ River Bioremediation

80 km

Amba River

In-situ River Bioremediation

Reviving Amba River: exploring microalgae's role in environmental bioremediation


Amba River

80 km
Liquid Trees

Amba River


The Amba River originates in the Western Ghats, India, and flows about 80 km before discharging into the Arabian Sea. High economic development, population growth, and discharde of untretaed effluents in the river, have led to an increase in nutrients supply into the river, as evidenced by the occurrences of abrupt phytoplankton expansion.

To reverse negative antropogenic impact at Amba River, Liquid Trees identified the most suitable native microalgae species that can thrive in the river and effectively remove pollutants. Once identified, these microalgae are introduced at strategic locations along the river to perform the phycoremediation, which utilizes the unique properties of these microorganisms to cleanse the water body. Additionally, the oxygen generated by microalgae during photosynthesis promotes a healthier aquatic ecosystem, allowing fish and other aquatic life to thrive again.

Local team

Amba River and its unique ecosystem

Amba River’ stunning mountain view along its banks

Water sampling along the banks of Amba River

The magnificent flora that surrounds Amba river during its journey


Liquid Trees rigorously evaluates every project listed on our marketplace to ensure that we're surfacing only the highest quality projects. Our Evaluation Criteria includes a series of checks that every project must pass as well as a number of informative insights on project quality. You can see a preview of these checks below.

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Feasibility study
The suitable river for microalgal bioremediation is selected after a feasibility study including several criteria such as water quality, environmental, hydrological, and geological conditions.
Selection of the inoculation point
Define the suitable river inoculation location for the construction of the microalgae facility for river bioremediation.
Environmental permits
Obtention of permits to perform the river bioremediation in accordance with environmental compliance.
Baseline assessment
Water quality evaluation along river monitoring stations and determination of the baseline carbon stock at the riverbed.
Native microalgae selection
Identification, selection, and isolation of native microalgae already adapted and acclimatized to local river ecosystem environmental conditions. Microalgae selection considers their carbon capture and sequestration potential.
Microalgae cultivation
Scaling-up of the isolated native microalgae in the algal facility maintaining the identical environmental conditions found in their natural habitat.
River bioremediation
Use of cultivated microalgae consortium as inoculum for bioaugmentation in the selected river
In-situ river phycoremediation
Inoculation of the river with the microalgae culture for the removal of excessive water nutrients as they are transported downstream.
Microalgae deposition and accumulation
When the inoculated microalgae die, they follow deposition and accumulation in the riverbed soil where biomass is stored, sequestering the carbon captured during growth. 
River bioremediation monitoring
The project delivers a long-lasting climate impact ensured by continuous and efficient monitoring
Monitoring river bioremediation performance
Spatial and temporal assessment of water quality along the river monitoring stations considering the evolution of biological and physicochemical parameters to evaluate water quality during and after the bioremediation.

Also, satellites images and RS tools are used to monitor microalgae blooms and nutrients evolution along the river.
Carbon sequestration verification and validation
A combination of MRV techniques are used to report the carbon storage in riverbed soils and GHG mitigation
Field measurements
In-situ field measurements to verify and validate microalgae-biomass deposition and accumulation and its contribution to carbon storage in the riverbed soil.
Modelling and simulation
Application of models to simulate microalgae behaviour in the river-estuary system and quantify biomass contribution to the carbon pool.

Every river project listed on the Liquid Trees Marketplace must align with our Evaluation Criteria to ensure project quality. To monitor a river bioremediation project, Liquid Trees uses remote sensing and geographic information systems along with field measurements to monitor and assess microalgae biomass and nutrient evolution along the target river.


Introducing microalgae has led to its proliferation downstream, extending its growth over a substantial distance from the inoculation point along the Amba River.


Amba River’s degradation by excess nutrients and untreated effluents

The Amba River has an immense cultural and environmental significance since it plays a crucial role in shaping the region's history and supporting the livelihoods of local communities. The Amba River originates in the Sahyadri mountain range and meanders through the verdant valleys, enriching the surrounding lands with life-giving waters. It is a water source for agricultural activities, allowing farmers to cultivate crops and sustain their livelihoods. The river supports a rich aquatic life, providing a habitat for various fish species and other organisms.

However, the Amba River faces several challenges, including pollution and degradation. Discharging untreated industrial effluents and improper waste disposal have significantly impacted its water quality. Additionally, the excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in agricultural practices has led to contamination, affecting the river biodiversity. The Amba River microalgae-based bioremediation project aims to improve water quality.

Through the collective efforts of stakeholders, the project aspite to restore water quality and recover the river's health.

Amna River running through the Maharashtra region
Economic conditions

Maharashtra is home to the Amba River and is one of India's most economically developed states and contributes significantly to the country's GDP. The main economic activity in the state include the agriculture, manufacturing, services, and tourism. Regarding economic growth, Maharashtra consistently ranks among the top states in India. The state has a strong industrial base, particularly in cities like Mumbai, Pune, and Nashik. Also, the agriculture sector in Maharashtra plays a vital role in the state's economy, employing a significant portion of the population. The fertile lands along the Amba River support cultivating various crops, including rice, wheat, sugarcane, and fruits. Agriculture-related industries such as food processing and agro-based manufacturing contribute to the state's economy.

In this sense, the Amba River bioremediation project have potential for contributing to local economy and to support its development by protecting a unique resource.

Fish population conditions

The Amba River is home to diverse aquatic life and supports a significant fishing industry in Maharashtra. The river and its tributaries provide favourable conditions for fish breeding and contribute to the livelihoods of many local communities.

However, the fishing industry along the Amba River faces challenges due to various factors, including water pollution and habitat degradation. Pollution from industrial and agricultural activities and improper waste management practices can negatively impact river water quality. These factors have led to a decline in the fish population over time.

The primary objective of the ongoing project is to enhance the well-being of the aquatic ecosystem, facilitating the resurgence of local biodiversity including fish and other aquatic species.

Trash and plastic pollution

The Amba River is also affected by trash and plastic pollution. Indiscriminate dumping of waste and plastic residues along the riverbanks and nearby areas has led to pollution and environmental degradation. This issue has gained attention from local communities and environmental organizations in Maharashtra.

The current river bioremediation project implies the installation of garbage traps across the river for its recovery and later recycling. These efforts aim to ensure the cleanliness and health of the Amba River, improving water quality.



In alignment with Liquid Trees' commitment to environmental stewardship, this river bioremediation project support the achievement of these SDGs

Zero Hunger
Microalgae cultivation does not require fertile land.

The water used for the cultivation is returned to the river, providing clean water for irrigation.
Microalgae mitigate eutrophication in water bodies through nutrient uptake, protecting biodiversity.

Microalgae cultivation in rivers can remove organic and inorganic chemicals, including heavy metals, microplastics, and emerging pollutants.

Microalgae promote water quality and enhance dissolved oxygen.
Clean Water and Sanitation
Decent Work and Economic Growth
The operation and maintenance of microalgal cultivation facilities and the river bioremediation project provide job opportunities for locals.
Microalgae effectively capture and fix atmospheric CO2 due to their high photosynthetic efficiency, mitigating GHGs emissions.

Microalgae biological carbon sequestration is a promising and sustainable technology to address global warming and climate change.
SDG 13
Climate Action
SDG 14
Life Below Water
Microalgae have a significant impact on the bioremediation of diffuse pollution and eutrophication mitigation, reducing excessive nutrients and increasing water oxygenation.

Microalgae increase the population of river flora and fauna due to water oxygenation.

Microalgae technology helps to improve and preserve aquatic habitats and promote ecosystem resilience.
The success of the in-situ application of microalgae technology is strongly linked to the collaboration and partnerships between multi-stakeholder groups, policy- and decision-makers.
SDG 17
Partnership for the goal

More than half of all mammals in Borneo live in this project area

This project expands the contiguous habitat of the neighboring national park eastward to the Seruyan River, which local communities rely heavily on for drinking, transportation, and fish stocks. This land preservation provides countless flora and fauna with a natural, undisturbed habitat where they can thrive. Central Kalimantan Peatlands protects the populations of five critically endangered, 12 endangered, and 37 vulnerable species (including 5% of the world’s total population of Orangutans). Other mammals in the area include the Asian Sun Bear, Sunda Pangolin, Clouded Leopard, Proboscis Monkey, Hairy-Nosed Otter and many species of bats.

a big rainforest and the river
Vulnerable species
Tree & plant species
Tree Spotlight


Among the largest near-surface reserves of terrestrial organic carbon, peatlands are made up of organic matter from partially decomposed remains of trees that accumulate to a thickness of 10m+. These forests are also home to a wide range of plant and animal life.


Regular daily patrols cover large expanses of this remote peat swamp on foot and by motorized canoe to prevent illegal activity and conduct a range of biological, resource and social surveys. Working together with project communities has strengthened local ties and support for the project.

Tree Spotlight

Bornean Orangutan

The only great ape outside of Africa, whose populations have declined 95% in the last century, is critically endangered due to human activities. Tanjung Puting National Park (adjacent to the project area) houses one of the largest protected populations.


Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) collaborates with the project on the implementation of forest monitoring, reporting and protection activities on the ground.

Verification Report 2015-2019


Verification Report 2015-2019


Verification Report 2015-2019


Verification Report 2015-2019


Verification Report 2015-2019