26 Sep 2022
 | 26 Sep 2022

Influence of climate change, land use land cover, population and industries on the pollution of Ganga River

Sneha Santy, Pradeep Mujumdar, and Govindasamy Bala

Abstract. Climate change, land use land cover (LULC), population, industries, and sewage treatment are factors that can strongly influence river water quality. This paper uses a coupled hydrological-water quality simulation model to assess the influence of each of these drivers on the most polluted river stretch of the Ganga River. The water quality model QUAL2K is driven by these five factors to assess their influence on nine water quality parameters, namely dissolved oxygen (DO), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), faecal coliform, ammonia, nitrate, total nitrogen, organic-, inorganic-, and total phosphorous. Climate change projections are taken from CMIP5 RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios. Five socio-environmental scenarios which consider sewer network, sewage treatment capacity, level of treatment at sewage treatment plants (STPs), and the type of sewage (domestic or mixed) are also considered. The water quality is simulated using a coupled HEC-HMS-QUAL2K framework. The non-point source pollution is quantified using the export coefficient method, where the export of pollutants from all land use classes are considered. The climate change effect is found to have a larger effect on Kanpur water quality than other drivers, with a percentage contribution of above 70 % because of the large sensitivity of water quality parameters to the amount of streamflow. Climate change projections combined with socio-environmental scenarios imply that the large increase in pollution due to climate change, LULC, industry, and population growth cannot be controlled by the current treatment proposals for 2050. However, providing adequate STPs to meet the population of 2050, and allowing only domestic sewage to reach STPs can help to achieve the objective of the Ganga Action Plan in the mid-21st century.

Sneha Santy et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-796', Kees Bons, 14 Oct 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Sneha Santy, 15 Oct 2022
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-796', Anonymous Referee #1, 23 Nov 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Sneha Santy, 27 Dec 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-796', Anonymous Referee #2, 27 Nov 2022
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Sneha Santy, 27 Dec 2022
  • CC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-796', Johan C. van Snippenberg, 28 Nov 2022
  • EC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-796', Christian Stamm, 28 Nov 2022

Sneha Santy et al.


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Short summary
The percentage contribution of climate change, land use, population and industry to Ganga pollution is quantified using a coupled hydrological-water quality simulation model. Climate change is identified as the prominent driver with a percentage contribution above 70 %. Hence, due to the added pollution load from climate change, land use projections, and industrial growth, the proposed treatment for Ganga in mid 21st century is not sufficient to bring down Ganga pollution.