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India-UK Water Quality

Future Secular Changes & Remediation of Groundwater Arsenic in the Ganga River Basin (FAR-GANGA)

Understanding the interactions and fate of arsenic for improved public health and economic development

Over 500,000,000 people live in the Ganga River Basin with a groundwater demand larger than that of any country outside India.  Increased demand, due to population growth & economic development and decreased surface water supply is leading to increasing reliance on groundwater.  Groundwater resources in the Ganga Basin, are however, vulnerable to contamination from surface chemicals, through natural aquifer recharge and managed aquifer recharge.  Arsenic is the chemical in groundwater with by far the highest detrimental health impact, causing as many as 15,000 annual premature deaths in India.  Key Research & Development areas include genesis of arsenic occurrence and mobilization, arsenic risk and vulnerability mapping, and remediation - all key themes of our FAR-GANGA project.  Our overarching aims are to (1) investigate the vulnerability of representative shallow sedimentary aquifer systems in the Ganges River Basin to secular increases in arsenic; (2) predict future secular changes in groundwater arsenic and (3) report/communicate with key stakeholders regarding future hazards and risks, and how groundwater remediation practices and strategic selection of water remediation technologies and approaches might accordingly be modified to societal benefit.

The FAR-GANGA team brings together a successful and experienced India-UK cross-disciplinary team working at the interface between research biogeochemistry, hydrology and reactive contaminant transport modelling and practical water resource management.  The India-UK team has highly relevant, complementary skills and collaborations, with a collective track record of attracting over £30 M of funding with over 700 refereed papers published in peer-reviewed international journals.  FAR-GANGA is a collaboration between eight institutions: The University of Manchester (UK), National Institute of Hydrology (India), Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (India), British Geological Survey (UK), Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (India), University of Salford (UK), University of Birmingham (UK) and Mahavir Cancer Sansthan and Research Centre Patna (India).

Funded by DST-Newton Bhabha-NERC-EPSRC Indo-UK Water Quality Programme (NE/R003386/1 and DST/TM/INDO-UK/2K17/55(C) & 55(G))2018 - 2021)

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