The Ganga basin extends over an area of 1,000,000 km2 and is home to over 450 million people. Rapidly increasing population, rising standards of living and exponential growth of industrialisation and urbanisation have exposed water resources across the basin to various forms of degradation. Issues such as the over-extraction of water sources and discharge of pollutants are threatening current and future water security.
A workshop convened in December 2015 by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology aimed to bring together leading freshwater scientists from across India and the United Kingdom to explore the future scientific needs and challenges which will underpin the sustainable management of the Ganga. The workshop developed ideas for future scientific collaborations between India and the UK which will address key knowledge gaps in our understanding of the basin’s hydrology and cultivate innovations in water resources management.
Workshop Report and Conclusions
The workshop report can be downloaded here:
- A unified modelling approach for the Ganga river basin needs to be developed.
- There is a need to understand how large-scale, human-induced changes in the Ganga basin (including land use, urbanisation and climate change) feedback to the whole hydrological system.
- Understanding of the dynamic interaction between surface and groundwater in the Ganga basin needs to be improved.
- There is an urgent need to define the sources, pathways and fate of environmental contaminants.
- The amount of water required to support the ecological functioning of the Ganga and its floodplain needs to be better understood.
- New techniques are needed to augment traditional environmental monitoring.
- The spatial and temporal patterns of hydrologically related hazards need to be determined and the potential impact of non-stationarity in management decisions explored.
- There is a need to define how science can support development of a future vision for the Ganga.
Further details of these challenges and the supporting conclusions can be found in the report.
The workshop was structured around the six key areas where scientific research is needed to underpin the future development and sustainable management of the Ganga. Presentations given in each Session can be downloaded as PDFs with the links below:
- Address by the National Mission for Clean Ganga - Puskal Upadhyay (NMCG)
- Address by the Central Water Commission - N.N.Rai (CWC)
- Science and Water Management Challenges in the Ganga Basin - Vinod Tare (IIT Kanpur)
Water & Ecosystems
- Water management for the environment in India – can UK experience help? - Mike Acreman (CEH)
- Scientific inputs for Ganga rejuvenation - Sharad Jain (National Institute of Hydrology, India)
Water & Agriculture
- The hydrological links between groundwater dynamics and land-energy feedbacks in the Ganges basin - Muddu Sekhar (IISc Bangalore)
- Assessing climate change impacts on water resources in the Beas Basin and possible lessons for future management of the Ganga - Adebayo Adeloye (Heriot Watt University)
Water & Urban Areas
Water & Industry
- Modelling flow and water quality in the Ganga catchment: Impacts of pollution control strategies and climate change - Paul Whitehead (Oxford University)
- Coupling between climate change and the river quality of Ganges ecosystem: Paving the road ahead - Sachchida Tripathi (IIT Kanpur)
Water & Energy
- River Ganga: Energy and environment - Arun Kumar (IIT Roorkee)
- Science and hydropower - Gwyn Rees (CEH)