Ecological Restoration

Ecological Restoration

Summary:

Ecological restoration of National River Ganga is urgently needed since river biodiversity is being rapidly lost. Eight main factors affecting the river habitat are identified for causing this loss: (i) Habitat Fragmentation by dams and barrages; (ii) Habitat Shrinkage due to increased water diversions and withdrawals; (iii) Habitat Alterations by sand mining and constructing embankments, levees, guide walls, etc.; (iv) Habitat Pollution by influx of municipal, industrial and agricultural wastes; (v) Habitat Invasion by alien river species; (vi) Habitat Encroachment by constructions in floodplains and river bed farming; (vii) Habitat Disturbances by plying of noisy vessels, dredging, etc.; and (viii) Habitat Malnutrition by the trapping of nutrient-rich sediments behind dams. Hence, the measures recommended are: (1) Restoration of longitudinal connectivity along with E-flows across dams/ barrages; (2) Maintenance of lateral connectivity across floodplains; (3) Restoration of unpolluted river flows; (4) Restrictions on river bed farming, gravel and sand mining, plying of vessels, dredging, and bed and bank modifications; (5) Control of alien species invasions, overfishing and fishing during spawning seasons; (6) River nutrient assessment and release of dammed sediments into the river; bio-monitoring of Ganga river network; and (7) Synergising the above actions with the Dolphin Conservation Action Plan – 2010; and comprehensive research on the ecological dynamics of the Ganga River System.

Source: Gangapedia