IC-IMPACTS and the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) co‐hosted the “Integrated Water Management for Ganga Collaboration Workshop” in Delhi, India on February 10‐11, 2014. The workshop, which was attended by over 120 members of the scientific, industrial, government and financial communities, led to the creation of a detailed action plan outlining collaborative and innovative solutions to better manage the Ganga river.
Spanning across India and Bangladesh, the Ganga river flows over 2,525 km and is the third largest river in the world (by discharge). Raw sewage, high levels of bacteria, and industrial waste-water particularly from the pulp and paper, tanneries and sugar refinery sectors have, however, severely contaminated the Ganga river.
The action plan created by the NMCG and IC-IMPACTS as an outcome of the workshop will focus collaborative activities in four areas: the launch of new joint research projects, knowledge mobilization, training, and regulatory and management framework development.
Several initial priority areas for research collaboration were identified to include: (a) advanced treatment technologies and resource recovery from sludge, (b) sensing and sensor development with field application, (c) climate change impacts on river hydrology, and (d) colour removal and retrieval of secondary fibres.
The collaboration between IC-IMPACTS and NMCG will help alleviate industrial pollution at point of source thus preventing harmful contaminants from making their way into the Ganga River. The collaboration will also create cost-effective interventions to recapture core ingredients and save the loss of valuable investments during industrial manufacturing processes. It will expand efforts in the overall Reuse-Reduce-Recycle water management strategy by introducing new cross sector water use approaches such as water-cascading and other water recapture technologies, and will provide critical baseline data from remote sensing, local monitoring and GIS informatics to better understand the current condition of the Ganga river and to monitor the effectiveness of new strategies to improve its overall quality.
With over 37% of India’s population living along the Ganga river – the life-giving water body which supplies water for drinking, agriculture, industrial activity, holy rituals and economic purposes – the collaboration between IC-IMPACTS and the NMCG to find new approaches and technologies to clean the Ganga river will have the potential to affect the health and livelihood of millions of people.