A group of U.S. researchers is working on a system to map undulating pollution trends in the Godavari, India’s second longest river.
Using a mix of methods, including satellite-monitoring, traversing stretches of the river to collect water samples and using special sensors to measure bacterial and chemical pollution, the researchers are trying to develop a cost-effective forecast system.
Through cloud-based data collection and real-time mapping systems, the research and implementation teams intend to demonstrate the importance and value of detecting and anticipating pollutants that enter the river in the form of human waste, organic materials, and chemical contaminants.
Objectives of the project:
The long-term objective is to be able to inform State officials and citizens of a probable spike in, say, levels of dangerous microbes or effluents, similar to weather and air pollution forecasts.
Also, it is to be able to access “raw data” that could be used to inform the efficacy of a proposed faecal sludge treatment plant and whether behavioural interventions — including incentives or punishments — to restrict activities that pollute the river could actually work.
The Godavari is the second longest river in India after the river Ganges having its source at Tryambakeshwar, Maharashtra.
It starts in Maharashtra and flows east emptying into Bay of Bengal draining the Indian states Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh , Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka and Puducherry through its extensive network of tributaries.
It forms one of the largest river basins in the Indian subcontinent, with only the Ganges and Indus rivers having a drainage basin larger than it in India.
Important tributaries include Pravara, Purna, Manjira, Pranhita, Indravati and Sabari.