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With reference to the River Ganges case study, examine the international issues that arise as a result of river Management

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Introduction

With reference to the River Ganges case study, examine the international issues that arise as a result of river Management Many international issues arise from poor river management of such rivers as the Ganges, these include pollution to the natural environment, and deforestation in some cases from urban sprawl towards the riverside. The River Ganges which runs through China, Nepal, India and Bangladesh has its source in the Himalayas at Gaumakh. It is 1,560 miles long and has one of the most fertile and densely populated river basins in the world, which covers an area of 400,000 sq miles and flows through 52 cities and 48 smaller towns. Most of Bangladesh is covered by huge delta's and floodplains of the river Ganges. Tropical cyclones are known for bringing heavy rain to the areas, also during the summer period snow melts from glaciers in the Himalayas cause great discharge, this is added to the heavy monsoon rains in each season. This causes great impacts on the land use as already more than 70% of the land is less than 1m above sea level making it prone to flooding. These facts suggest huge impacts of flooding and severe casualties to these countries, and their population if the river is not managed properly. ...read more.

Middle

A lot of salt in the land is very bad for agriculture, as crops won't grow in these conditions, this effects the country greatly in their economic activity, as it is one of the countries largest exports from the Port of Calcutta. Also traditionally the water from the river Ganges has been supplied to the villages and towns to improve living conditions, but the increasing levels of salt in the water causes diseases and poor health to the population and the water goes to waste. A leather factory was built along the river Ganges near Kanpur, this created employment and increase in economic activity, it was situated there so the river could be used to transport resources needed from other countries, and make it easily accessible to transport goods to the ports. This industry released strong chemicals such as Chromium into the river, causing great pollution and knock on effects to the species living in the river. Also for the people needing the water for bathing and drinking, this was no longer a possible thing to say as the level of toxics in the river were highly dangerous. Also each day over 1 billion liters of mostly untreated raw sewage enters the river each day, producing a great source of pollution, due to no river management aid in clearing it up. ...read more.

Conclusion

50% of ones forested areas has now been destroyed to make way for the inhabitants. I feel that the development of the Farakka Barrage in the river Ganges lead to unsustainable damages to the natural habitat and environment in this region of the world. I think that the river management has only created problems, by increasing pollution and an increase in toxics released into the forests and the river, disturbing its natural growth and the natural flow of the river. I don't think that the plans for this development were properly thought through and the consequences were not weighed out next to the benefits of its development, and has mostly caused conflicts between the countries, and also caused long term physical damage to the land and its population due to the high risks in flooding, also the case of the flood in 1998 in Bangladesh taking place over a 56 day period. Over all I feel that the damages brought to the river are too strong for the Countries to fight back on, due to them not necessarily having a very high economic activity percentage, leaving them with great difficulty to build up the land and reduce the levels of salinity and pollution in the river. ...read more.

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