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Aug 20, 2018
3:39PM

Ganga drying up in summers due to groundwater depletion: Study

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Ganga, the 2600-km-long trans-boundary river of Asia, has witnessed "unprecedented low levels of water in several lower reaches" in the last few summer seasons.

This is as per a study was undertaken by a professor of IIT-Kharagpur. Abhijit Mukherjee, associate professor of Geology in IIT-Kharapur, along with researchers Soumendra Nath Bhanja from Canada and Yoshihide Wada from IIASA Austria, found out that the drying of the river in the recent years during the summer seasons was "possibly related to the groundwater depletion in the Gangetic aquifers".

The study useda combination of satellite images of groundwater levels of Ganga, numerical simulations and chemical analyses to draw the conclusion.The study asserted that the decline of groundwater inflow (base flow) is also impacting the health of the river.

The study also observed that in the forthcoming summers, for the next 30 years, groundwater contribution to river Ganga will continue decreasing.

"The trend can lead to a disastrous effect on the
riverine ecology and lead to food scarcity for 115 million
people in the Ganga basin," Bhanja pointed out.
Dhrubojyoti Sen, a professor of the Department of
Civil Engineering at IIT-Kharagpur, said the research brings
out the scientific reasons for the decreased flows of the
river Ganga, especially in the lower reaches."The findings would be extremely helpful in providing quantitative data for future planning of water resources
projects in the basin," he added.


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