Abstract River water samples were collected four times during a three year period (1981–1984) at sixteen stations in the entire region of Krishna River and its major tributaries. On the basis of our analytical results, the discharge weighted average chemical composition of the Krishna River has been computed and compared to major river systems of the world. The total dissolved transport of Krishna to the Bay of Bengal is estimated to be 10.4 × 10 6 t yr −1 which accounts 4% of the chemical load of the Indian subcontinent. The average annual chemical erosion rate at the river mouth is estimated to be 41 t km −2 yr −1. The fluxes of individual dissolved species of Krishna River water to the Bay of Bengal are in the following order: HCO 3 > SO 4 > Na > Cl > dissolved Si > Mg > K > F > PO 4. The observed chemical data of Krishna River water have been used to predict theoretically the mineral assemblages in the carbonate and in alumino-silicate systems and compared to observed mineralogical composition of suspended sediments.