Ganga: The Thirsty River

Ganga, the 2600-km-long trans-boundary river of India, has witnessed "unprecedented low levels of water in several lower reaches" in the last few summer seasons. This is as per a study undertaken by a professor of IIT-Kharagpur. Abhijit Mukherjee, Associate Professor, Environmental Science and Engineering at IIT Kharagpur, along with researchers Soumendra Nath Bhanja from Canada and Yoshihide Wada from International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, 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 has found that the summer water flow in the river is severely depleted, so much so that there may be hardly any flow in the non-monsoon months in large stretches of the river from Varanasi to Kolkata in the coming years. On this edition of ‘The Big Picture’ we will analyse how to replenish the mighty river.