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About the Rivers of Kerala

There are 44 of them - 41 of them following westward and three eastward. The rivers of Kerala are small, whether considered in terms of length, breadth or annual stream flow. The rivers flow fast, because of the hilly nature of the terrain and as the distance between the mountains and the sea is rather short. The rivers of Kerala have no deltas. Because of the smallness in size, these rivers are more susceptible to environmental onsloughts. The rate of utilisation of each unit of the river is also very high, due to the high density of population, as already mentioned earlier.
Despite the small size, the riverine biodiversity is very rich. For example, from Chalakudy river alone 98 species of fish have been identified. But the river Kaveri (mainly flowing through Karnataka and Tamil Nadu), though 8 times the length of Chalakkudy has only 142 species of fish. The available statistical data about the rivers of Kerala are given in the following table.
 
No. Name of the river Districs which river basin is located Origin and Elevation 
(a.s.l)
Length of the River
(km)
Main Tributaries Basin Area
(km2)
Average Annual Rainfall
(mm)
Average Annual Stream Flow
 (Mm3)
Navigable Length 
(km)
Irrigation Projects H.E projects
Kerala Other State
1 Achenkoil Pathanamthitta
Idukki
Alapuzha
Pasukidamettu
700
128 Kallar 1484 Nil 2600 1484 32 Nil Achencoil
(Proposed)
2 Anjarakandy Kannur Kannoth
600m
40 Kappu Thodu
Idumba Thodu
412 Nil 3500 413 27.2 Nil Nil
3 Ayroor Kollam
Thiruvananthapuram
NA 17 Nil 66 Nil 2200 NA 1 Nil Nil
4 Bharatha Puzha Palakkad
Malappuram
&Thrissur
Anamalaihills
1964
209 Gayathri Puzha
Chittor Puzha
Kalpathi Puzha
Thootha Puzha
4400 1786 2300 5082 40 Kanjira Puzha
Chittor Puzha
Walayar
Malam Puzha
etc.(8 Nos)
Malam Puzha
5 Chalakudy Thrissur,
Palakkad
& Ernakulam
AnamalaiHills
1250m
130 Parambikulam
Sholayar
Karappara
1404 300 3600 1629 16 Chalakudy Peringalkuth
Sholayar
6 Chaliyar Kozhikode
Malappuram
&Wayanad
Ilambalaari
2066
169 Karimpuzha
Kanchirapuzha
Cherupuzha
2535 388 3800 5902 68.4 Chalipuzha
Olipuzha
Baipurapuzha
(6 Nos)
Pandiyar
Punna Puzha
etc(3 Nos)
7 Chandragiri Kasargod Pattighat
1350m
105 Payashani
Chandragiri
570 836 4000 3964 12.8 Nil Nil
8 Chittari Kasargod Chettiamchal
91m
25 Kalnad
Bekal
Chittari
145 Nil 4000 NA NA Nil Nil
9 Izhikkara Kollam
Thiruvananthapuram
Madathurikunnu
240m
56 Vattaparambu
Vattam Thodu
642 Nil 2400 489 16 Nil Nil
10 Kadalundi Malappuram
Palakkad
CherakombanMala
1160
130 Olipuzha
Veliar
1122 Nil 3400 1137 43.2 Nil Nil
11 Kallada Kollam
Pathanamthitta
Thiruvananthapuram
Karimalai
1524m
121 Kulathupuzha
Chendruni
1699 Nil 2800 3374 40 Kallada Kallada
12 Kallayi Kozhikode Cherikkulathur
45m
40 Nil 96 Nil 3800 NA 9.6 Nil Nil
13 Kamom Kollam
Thiruvananthapuram
NA/NA 27 Nil 114 Nil 2200 NA 1 Nil Nil
14 Karamana Thriruvananthapuram NedumangadHills
186m
68 Kaviar
Thodiyar
702 Nil 2600 836 NA Nil Nil
15 Kariangode Kasargod
Kannur
Padinalkad
1520m
64 Mundore
Padimalahole
Ariakkadavuhole
429 132 3600 1156 24 kakkadavu
(investigated)
Nil
16 Karuvannur Thrissur Pumalai
1100m
40 Manali
Kurumali
Chimmani
1054 Nil 3200 1298 24 Peechi
Chimmani
Nil
17 Kavvayi Kasargod
Kannur
Cheemeni
305m
31 Nil 143 Nil 3600 NA 9.6 Nil Nil
18 Keecheri Thrissur MachadMala
365m
51 Choondal Thodu 401 Nil 3000 1024 NA Vazhani Nil
19 Korapuzha Kozhikode Arikkankunni
610m
40 Agalapuzha
Pannurpuzha
624 Nil 3800 222 24.8 Nil Nil
20 Kuppam Kannur Padinalkad
1630m
82 Cheriya Thodu
Kuttikilpuzha
469 70 3600 1515 24 Nil Nil
21 Kuttiyadi Kozhikode Narikotta
1320m
74 Onipuzha
Thottilapalam
Kannathil
583 Nil 4500 1273 9.6 Kuttiyadi Kuttiyadi
22 Mahe Kannur
and
Kozhikode
Wynadhills
910
54 Nil 394 Nil 3900 248 24 Nil Nil
23 Manimala Kottayam
Pathananthitta
Tatamala
1156
90 Kokayar
Elakkal Thodu
847 Nil 3300 1560 54.4 Nil Nil
24 Manjeswar Kasargod Balepuni
60m
15 Pavuru 90 nil 3478 309 3.2 nil nil
25 Meenachil Kottayam Araikunnumudi
1097m
78 Kadapuzha
Kalathukadavu
Kurisumalai
1272 Nil 3000 1059 41.6 Meenachil
(investigated)
Nil
26 Mogral Kasargod Kanathur
250m
34 Nettipadi,Muliyar 132 nil 4000 NA NA Nil Nil
27 Muvattupuzha Ernakulam
Kottayam
Taragamkanam
1094m
121 Kallar
Thodupuzha
Kothamangalam
1554 Nil 3100 3560 25.6 Malamkara Nil
28 Neyyar Thiruvananthapuram AgasthyaHills
1860m
56 Kallar
Karavaliyar
497 Nil 2300 207 NA Neyyar Nil
29 Nileswar Kasargod
and
Kannur
Kinanur
140m
46 Aryangal
Baigotehole
190 Nil 4000 NA NA Nil Nil
30 Pallikal Kollam
Pathanamthitta
Thiruvananthapuram
NA 42 NA 220 Nil 2800 NA 3 Nil Nil
31 Pamba Pathanamthitta
Idukki
Alapuzha
Pulachimalai
1650m
176 Kakkiyar
Kallar
Arudai
Pamba
2235 Nil 3600 3423 73.6 Pamba Sabarigiri 
32 Periyar Idukki
Ernakulam
Sivagiri
1830m
244 Muthirapuzha
Idamalayar
Mangalapuzha
Perinjankutty
5284 114 3200 4867 72 Idamalayar Sengulam
Neriyamangalam
Panniyar
Idukki
33 Peruvamba Kasargod
Kannur
Pekkuru
325m
51 Macharu Thodu
Mathamangalam
Challachal
300 Nil 3600 1143 16 Nil Nil
34 Puzhakkal Thrissur MachadMala
525
29 Para Thodu
Nadu Thodu(etc.)
234 Nil 3000 1024 NA Nil Nil
35 Ramapuram Kasargod
Kannur
Iringal
57m
19 Nil 52 Nil 3600 NA 5.4 Nil Nil
36 Shiriya Kasargod Ankekundi
230m
67 Kallanje Thodu
Kanyana Thodu
Eramathihole
Kumbla
290 297 3700 1415 4.8 nil nil
37 Thalasseri Kannur Kannoth
550m
28 Dharmadom
puzha
132 Nil 3500 155 21.6 Nil Nil
38 Tirur Malappuram Atavanad
86m
48 Vallilapuzha 117 Nil 3400 165 9.6 Nil Nil
39 Uppala Kasargod Virakamba Hills
150m
50 Uppala 76 174 3478 309 3.2 nil nil
40 Valapattanam Kannur Brahmagiri
1350m
110 Valiyapuzha
Venipuzha
1321 456 3600 4779 44.8 Aralam
(Investigated)
Barapoli
(Proposed)
41 Vamanapuram Kollam
Thiruvananthapuram
Chembunji
1860
88 Nil 607 Nil 2200 1324 11.2 Nil Nil
Note: (a.s.l) = above sea level, m=meter, km=kilo meter, km2=square kilometers, mm=mill meter, Mm3=Million cubic meters

Sources:
(1) Water resource of Kerala
(2) Water Atlas of Kerala

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