During the COVID-19 pandemic, a study has shown that in a few months, minimizing industrial wastewater can substantially decrease heavy metal pollution in the Ganga water. From the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, a team of scientists got a rare opportunity in the pandemic to quantify the restricted anthropogenic activities’ impact on the large river water chemistry resilience.

The daily geochemical record of the Ganga river has been analyzed by them which showed that during 51 days of mandated nationwide lockdown, the decreased industrial discharge has reduced the dissolved heavy metal concentrations by a minimum of 50%. On the other hand, inputs from domestic sewage and agricultural runoff like nitrate and phosphate remained almost the same as the countrywide confinement did not impact on those sources.

A bilateral organization, Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) supported the research. The organization is under the Government of India and the U.S. Department of Science and Technology (DST). ‘Environmental Science and Technology Letters’ published showed dissolved heavy metals’ high resilience.

To understand the impact of direct human interventions and climate change, the researchers intensely studied large rivers of the world to testify the quality and quantity of the river water that has found pace in the journal’s cover page.


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