Research project

River health in the Ganges

The river system of the Ganges holds great physical, social and cultural importance in India, but suffers from poorly regulated pollution and water demand. This project looked at how water pollution affects communities on the Ramganga tributary of the Ganges.

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Start date

January 2017

Completion date

January 2019



The Scottish Government

Over 400 million people rely on the economic, cultural and environmental functions of the River Ganga in India. Degradation of the river system has affected flow, water quality, ecology and human development. To rehabilitate the river we need to better understand the interactions between the many services the river system provides. 

In this project we combined bio-physical and social research methods to map water quality, ecology and ecosystem services on a representative section of the river system, the Ramganga. We assessed drivers of societal vulnerabilities, like poverty and governance in relation to river management and pollution. 


Project lead(s)

Andrew Allan

External team members

Chris Spray (former member of staff)

University of Southampton

James Hutton Institute

ETI Dynamics