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