Increasing pollution, #ClimateChange & dam construction on River Ganga have modified its flow, causing frequent landslides & floods.

A study by @iiscbangalore & @IITKanpur predicts extreme flooding episodes in the coming years.


📸: P Sharma/BCCL Image
The researchers focused on two major tributaries of Ganga: Bhagirathi & Alaknanda.

The study observed an increase in flooding events in these river basins after 1995, particularly in the water flow in the Alaknanda river, which increased between 1971 & 2010.

📸: Swarnkar et al. Image
"We observed that Alaknanda basin has a high, statistically increasing rainfall trend, unlike Bhagirathi basin. Most trends were observed in Alaknanda’s downstream region. We also saw an increase in the magnitude of extreme flow in the regions", said the study's first author.
The construction of dams and reservoirs changes the course of the sediment flow of the rivers.

While dams are an important source of hydropower to the region, they could be fatal if not planned and managed scientifically.
For instance, the Tehri dam, which controls the upper Ganga basin region, has stopped the sediment flow from upstream. This has affected the morphology of the river.
Two new dams have started to function on the Alaknanda basin since 2015. Several new dam projects have also been planned on both Bhagirathi and Alaknanda basins.

If this trend continues, the probability of extreme flooding rises sharply across the Ganga basin.
We don't have control over what happens in the atmosphere. But on the ground, we have control. Flows can be predicted using hydrological models. With this knowledge, we can develop both structural & non-structural responses to mitigate high flows", said the corresponding author.

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