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Urban river is an important component of urban ecosystem. With the rapid development of city economy, urbanization has resulted many problems of city eco-environment, especially deterioration of water quality. The main goal of this present study is to assess the impact of urban activities on river water quality for the study area. On the basic of the monitored data of Tuman River and statistics concerned with economic and social development of Tuman River basin, the water quality were evaluated. Five major pollutants were selected by factor analysis on 13 pollution indexes. Then the driving forces of the pollution of Tuman River were analyzed. The results showed that SS is the major pollutant in Tuman River. In arid zone, total suspended particulates have great influences on the water quality of urban river. Furthermore, industrialization, overpopulation and land use and land cover changes have influences on the water quality of urban river to certain extend, so human activities in arid zone should be cautious.