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Indo-Ganges River Basin

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on August 4, 2008 at 3:01:16 pm




The Indo-Gangetic basin spans Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. It lies mostly in the Indus-Ganga-Brahmaputra plain, which extends 3,200 km between the mouth of the Ganga (Ganges) River to the east, and that of the Indus to the west. The rivers encompassed are the Ganga, Indus, Beas, Yamuna, Gomti, Ravi, Chambal, Sutlej, and Chenab. The soil is rich in silt, making the plain one of the most intensely farmed areas of the world. Even rural areas here are densely populated. Today, human numbers continue to rise, amplifying pressure on natural resources. The lack of both knowledge and resources to manage these growing pressures has resulted in high levels of poverty, food insecurity and environmental degradation.


The basin may be described as a ‘low-productivity-high potential’ region where, in certain pockets, 55 percent of the people live below the poverty line. With appropriate and adequate backstopping, agricultural productivity can be significantly improved—enabling people to profit from the region’s fertile alluvial soils and generous water endowments.


The top priority for people living in the region is to raise income and food security. 




CPWF addresses a series of problems:

  • Overexploitation of groundwater and declining water tables

  • Inefficient use and low productivity of surface and rainwater resources

  • Water-logging and secondary salinization in irrigation command areas

  • Pollution and contamination of water resources

  • Weak and inadequate institutions for water governance and management

  • Inadequate integration of crops, fisheries and other production sectors

  • Continuing degradation of land, water and biotic resources


    CPWF is looking at ways to check water table decline and enhance groundwater recharge in the western part of the basin, and ensure better use of groundwater in the eastern region. Research is also focusing on designing technologies that reduce groundwater pollution and land and water degradation, and on developing appropriate coping strategies for flooded, waterlogged and drought-prone areas.


    Publications from Indo-Ganges 


    Team Members 



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