Home India According to IISER Kolkata studies, the water quality in the Ganga’s lower...

According to IISER Kolkata studies, the water quality in the Ganga’s lower reaches is unsafe.

The water quality in the Ganga’s lower reaches is worrying. According to a team of scientists, untreated municipal and industrial sewage and other contaminants have been released into the Ganges.

Key Highlight:

  • The water quality in the Ganga’s lower reaches is worrying.
  • According to a team of scientists, untreated municipal and industrial sewage and other contaminants have been released into the Ganges.
  • Rapid human pressure and anthropogenic activities have resulted in the release of untreated sewage into the River Ganges, the scientists say.
  • The study was published in the prestigious international journal “Environment Research Communications”

Water quality in the lower reaches of the Ganga River is alarming, according to a team of scientists from the IISER Kolkata’s Integrative Taxonomy and Microbial Ecology Research Group (ITMERG).

The team evaluated the water quality in the lower sections of the Ganga river and discovered that the release of urban garbage in the Ganga river had impaired the much-needed baseline of the Water Quality Index (WQI) in the lower stretches Ganga river.

According to the team led by Professor Punyasloke Bhadury, rapid human pressure and anthropogenic activities have resulted in the release of untreated municipal and industrial sewage and other types of pollution into the Ganga River.

He claims that the lower portions of the Ganga near Kolkata are highly influenced by anthropogenic influences, owing to intense population pressure on both sides of the river banks.

“As a result, there has been a significant increase in the discharge of untreated municipal and industrial sewages in the lower stretch of the River Ganges, with consequences for many unique and biodiversity ecosystems, including the Sundarbans mangrove and endangered charismatic species, primarily the Gangetic Dolphin,” said a senior officer of the Ministry of Science and Technology, citing the ITMERG team’s findings.

Over two years, the team observed nine sites with 59 stations over a 50-kilometer stretch of the Ganga’s lower reaches to understand better the dynamics of critical environmental variables such as dissolved nitrogen and biological proxies used to assess Ganga’s health.

According to their findings, the WQI values of this river length ranged from 14 to 52 and were steadily declining regardless of the season of sampling.

“They have also identified the point source as well as the type of pollutants, in particular forms of nitrogen with effect on biota along the 50 km stretch that required immediate intervention for effective river basin management,” according to the Ministry, which backed the study and published the report in the prestigious international journal “Environment Research Communications.”

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