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The water quality of River Ganga in India has been deteriorating in the last few decades. Various Ganga Action Plans have come into force over the years to reduce water pollution in the river, but have failed to improve the river’s water quality. It is essential for us to understand the river system, its mechanism, the best location for waste disposal, amount of waste disposed, waste assimilative capacity, and influx of non-point source pollution from urban and agricultural areas, and then to issue advisories to industries and municipal corporations, accordingly. River hydraulics govern the dilution, diffusion, dispersion, reaction and settling of pollutants. The River Ganga has a meandering and braiding pattern, both in the middle and lower plains. The morphology of the river has tremendous variations due to both these phenomena, in addition to erosion and sedimentation. Now, when point source pollution is discharged into the Ganga without prior treatment and without understanding the river hydraulics mechanism, it causes a significant reduction in Dissolved Oxygen (DO), which can reach critical levels. The pollution load from urban areas should, therefore, be discharged at proper locations taking into consideration river morphology and resulting hydraulics, to reduce the mixing length and increase dispersion.
In this webinar, an understanding of a river system and its hydraulic mechanism will be discussed. The water quality changes that have been occurring in the River Ganga, in particular around the urban area of Patna, located at the bank of the river in Bihar, will be presented, and the reasons for this change will be presented. The key aspects related to waste water management, mentioned above, will be explored. A case study of Patna, will be shared to demonstrate the impact of the current lockdown on the quality of water in the River Ganga. The webinar will conclude with recommendations for future planning and development, as well as the research questions that still require answering.
This webinar will be of interest to research scholars in related field, and anyone interested in the River Ganga, flow dynamics, water quality, and impacts of the lockdown on water quality.
Professor Ramakar Jha is the Chair Professor for Water Resources (Dr Rajendra Prasad Chair) in the Department of Civil Engineering, National Institute of Technology Patna, MHRD, India. He has 30 years of experience in the area of hydrology and water resources engineering and his research interests include hydrology, water resources, climate change, river engineering, water quality modelling, environmental flows, advanced remote sensing and GIS, & statistical analysis. Prof. Jha has served at various levels from Scientist-B to Scientist-E1 at National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Roorkee, India and as Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, NIT Rourkela. He has worked, and is working as Country Co-ordinator and Principal Investigator for many International and National research and consultancy projects, most notably as Co-ordinator, Namami Gange of MHRD and MoWR Govt. of India. He holds a Ph. D. in Civil Engineering with specialisation in River hydraulics and Water Resources Engineering from IIT Roorkee, Uttarakhand